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SPCL Division Two cricket: New Milton CC leave it late with last-over triumph over Gosport Borough CC

SPCL Division Two

Gosport Borough CC 173-8

New Milton CC 174-5

MULTIPLE New Milton batters found their groove in a five-wicket victory over Gosport Borough, but they had to wait until the final over to win it.

After the bowlers had restricted Gosport to 173 from their 50 overs, Thaakier Davids, Ollie Shrubsole, and undefeated duo Lee Beck and Ed Bartlett led the way with excellent batting, but as the overs ticked by, the nerves began to jangle.

The win lifts the Green & Golds to third, hot on the heels of Portsmouth & Southsea, setting the stage for an exciting match in three weeks.

The Fernhill Sports Ground hosts only had to wait until the second over for their first capture when Toby Edwards’ catch ended Ollie Lunt’s innings on three runs after Josh Bennett’s (1-18) fifth ball of the game.

New Milton CC's evergreen Lee Beck (File picture: Les Chase)
New Milton CC's evergreen Lee Beck (File picture: Les Chase)

Rather than crumble, Ephraim Royle (19) and Charlie Creal (18) combined to add 35 runs for the second wicket. Their partnership was finally broken by the resurgent all-rounder Ed Denham (3-24), who seems to be back to near his best form, which led to him being a Dorset regular.

Beck (1-20) not only took a crucial catch but also claimed a wicket, while skipper Bartlett (1-42) clean-bowled Scott Taylor (15), and James Adams (2-15) was responsible for two ducks, one of which included a caught and bowled, showcasing the team’s collective effort.

After Gosport Borough’s 50 overs, New Milton had a target of 173 to beat, but they did not get off to the most auspicious of starts when, with four runs scored, Adams (4) returned to the pavilion.

New Milton's Thaakier Davids top-scored with 50 runs (Photo: Jo Wooster)
New Milton's Thaakier Davids top-scored with 50 runs (Photo: Jo Wooster)

However, an excellent second-wicket partnership of 96 runs from Shrubsole (42) and Davids (50), which ended after the departure of Davids, gave New Milton hope.

Shrubsole followed him back to the pavilion one run and 11 balls later, and after a couple more casualties, Beck – 37 runs off 39 balls – and skipper Bartlett – 27 off 25 – needed to increase the run rate aggressively.

They managed to do that, but they still needed three runs from the final over to see off league strugglers Gosport Borough.

Two runs for a wide on the first ball helped before they ran a single with three balls left to spark relieved celebrations.

New Milton hosts local rivals Sway at the Fernhill Sports Ground on Saturday at 12:30pm.

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