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Edwards smashes quick ton to rescue New Milton against Alton

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SPL Division One
New Milton CC 220-9
Alton CC 197

NEW Milton returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 23-run victory over Alton, largely thanks to a blistering ton from Toby Edwards.

The home side looked on course for a sub-standard innings while in trouble at 18-4. However, New Milton's in-form batter Edwards came to the crease and smashed a century off just 43 balls to help his side post a decent 220.

Earlier in the innings, Alton captain Scott Myers was smiling as his impressive South African quickie Bash Walters (3-23) with strike partner Arul Appavoo (3-27) reduced the home side to 18-4 in the first hour of play.

New Milton's Toby Edwards bludgeoned a quickfire century (photo: Les Chase)
New Milton's Toby Edwards bludgeoned a quickfire century (photo: Les Chase)

However, in at number five, Toby Edwards (100) strolled to the crease. Known for his hard-hitting, the young vice-captain played possibly the finest innings ever seen at Fernhill.

After losing George Watts (2), Edwards found a reliable partner in the evergreen Dan Loader (56 not out), who was superb in rotating the strike, leaning on his bat and watching the carnage from the other end.

Edwards completed his brilliant century before he was caught by Walters on the boundary while attempting another maximum. He departed with 10 sixes, nine fours and a standing ovation.

Ultimately, the home side finished on 220-9 after valuable late contributions from Eds Bartlett (12) and Wooster (13).

Alton's innings started even worse than the hosts, with two quick wickets falling for just one run when Dan Harris (0) and Mark Heffernan (0) were both trapped LBW by Bartlett (3-45) and Watts (3-32).

The New Milton bowlers were always on top, with spinner Joe Hall (3-42) ripping out the middle order and reducing Alton to 54-4.

However, Abhay Gonella (80) was the glue holding the Alton innings together, and he manoeuvred the ball around and ran hard with all his partners until he was the eighth wicket to fall with Alton at 157.

After that, a New Milton defeat looked highly improbable, and they duly delivered for their third win of the season with an evening of Bartlett-inspired karaoke.

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