SPL Division One cricket: Brave last-wicket stand seals New Milton Cricket Club’s first win at Fernhill Sports Ground
SPL Division One
New Milton CC 166
Ventnor CC 162
NEW Milton finally ended a winless run of six straight games to pick up their first win of the season by the narrowest of margins against Ventnor.
The hosts finally gave the Fernhill Sports Ground faithful something to cheer, but things could have been very different without a heroic last-wicket stand from Lewis Naylor and Lihan Laubscher.
New Milton found themselves at 135 with one wicket left, but Naylor (24 not out) and Laubscher (14) crucially added 31 runs to the target, which proved to be enough of a buffer to secure victory.
Visiting captain Ben Woodhouse won the toss and asked New Milton to bat first, knowing the hosts have struggled to acclimate runs lately. That proved to be the case again, with James Adams (18), Joe Hall (16), and Alfie Hussey (0) all departing with 15 runs of each other to leave Milton on 48-3.
Ventnor’s Ben Atrill (3-31) then enjoyed himself with the ball in hand, taking the three successive wickets of Ed Bartlett (11), Lee Beck (13), and Dan Cook (5).
Dan Loader (22) and skipper George Watts (17) did well to stem the tide. Still, at 135-9, another defeat looked inevitable until Naylor and Laubscher dragged the total to something with a hint of defendability.
New Milton made the perfect start with Bartlett (2-23) capturing Sri Lankan opener Dineth Thimodya (0) for a duck at 4-1 before Watts (3-28) caught Henry Bartlett (17) LBW.
However, Ventnor’s middle-order wrestled control back, dragging the score to 113-5. Still, besides Zeph Wells (23), Tom Friend (35) and Alex Lloyd (44 not out), the final six batsmen only contributed up to five runs each, with New Milton’s Bowling attack regularly capturing wickets to secure the win.
The pick of the New Milton bowlers was Alfie Hussey (3-19), while James Adams took an excellent two wickets for 14 runs.
New Milton are away against Hambledon on Saturday at 12.30pm.