SPL Premier cricket: Lymington march to safety as Totton & Eling face drop
Lymington CC 273-7
Totton & Eling CC 135
LYMINGTON picked up one of their most significant results of the season, securing league safety while consigning local rivals Totton & Eling to relegation.
Totton & Eling will now play the SPL Division One after finishing 0.4 points adrift in a season in which Lymington and Bashley (Rydal) both spent time at the foot of the table.
The 138-run victory, in which Monam Abbas’s 78-run masterclass was the highest score, lifted Lymington to a top-half-of-the-table finish in fifth.
Another highlight was the stellar showing from Gareth Berg, who collected a five-wicket haul following his retirement from professional cricket after 20 years.
Stand-in captain Josh Royan won the toss and, to the opposition’s surprise, opted to bat first, which paid off.
Brothers Kamran and Jovan Dhariwal opened the innings, with Kam being incredibly aggressive before he holed out to Josh May off opening bowler Brighton Mugochi (1-26).
The remaining Dhariwal put in a patient knock, featuring further partnerships with Ryan Scott (23) and Monam Abbas, whose 78 came off 87 balls.
Berg (12) did not last long, bowled by off-spinner Harry Stephens (4-60), much to the relief of the Totton players.
However, this brought Dan Cox (40) to the crease with a breezy knock, putting on 88 with Monam in just 80 balls before both were out.
Royan then hammered his way to 32 not out in 20 balls, including a six onto the railway, but luckily, because of strikes, no trains were running.
In reply, Totton & Eling never seemed like getting close to the challenging total of 273 that Lymington had posted, with wickets falling steadily.
Opening bowler Berg, with 5-26 in nine overs, proved the star again for Lymington and soon had the scalp of Billy Blyghton (2).
Fellow opener Lewis Martin (1-31), playing his last game for the club before returning to his native Australia, had danger man Bothwell Chapungu (5) back in the pavilion.
Harry Stephens (37) held the innings together for a while with a 44-run partnership with Brighton Mugochi (16) and 46 with Josh Elliott (28).
However, father and son Asad (2-27) and Monam (2-18) Abbas, again bowling in tandem, took the middle-order wickets as they proved difficult to get away.
Once Stephens was out, the Totton innings collapsed with seven wickets falling for just 34 runs, with Berg playing a prominent role in removing the late-order batters.