Southern Premier/Div One: St. Cross Symondians CC 192 v Totton & Eling CC 192 (Match tied)
FORMER Lymington skipper Simon Beetham skied a catch to mid-wicket as he tried to score the winning runs for St. Cross Symondians off the third ball of the last over against Southern Premier League Cup rivals Totton & Eling at Southern Gardens.
The outcome of the West group match hung in the balance with the scores level and St. Cross, nine wickets down for 192, needing a solitary run to win.
But Beetham miscued the third ball of left-arm spinner Ethan Taylor’s final over high to mid-wicket, where a relieved Owen Morris clung on to tie the match, with both sides dismissed for 192.
A dramatic finish always looked possible despite St. Cross making a disastrous start chasing Totton’s 192, with Hakim Peruzi (2-22) removing openers Tom Foyle and Joe Lewis in the first over.
Matt Stokes (46) and Ed Ellis repaired the damage before the Guernsey all-rounder was trapped leg-before by Brighton Mugochi (2-17).
At 120-3 and Ellis (45) and Dominic Kelly (29) at the crease, St. Cross were in command, but a three-wicket burst by emerging teenage spinner Billy Lightfoot (4-46), which included both the fourth-wicket pair, tipped the balance and left the visitors 137-7.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed as Beetham kept St. Cross in the game, only to lose tail-end partners Charlie Preston and Jake Nichols, both of whom added handy runs.
Beetham (26) edged St. Cross ever closer to the target but, with only three runs required off the final two overs, the previously expensive Jack Owens sent down a maiden, conceding only a leg-bye in the process.
At 191-9, St. Cross needed just two runs off Ethan Taylor’s final over – but with the scores level, Beetham went for glory and holed out to Morris at mid-wicket to tie the match.
It was perhaps fitting that Taylor (2-56) should take the final wicket because it was his mid-innings score of 60 which put the scaffolding around Totton’s uncertain batting.
Totton were 77-4 when Taylor took control, striking two sixes and six boundaries in a 50-ball knock which almost doubled the team’s total.
Taylor, one of five victims for wicketkeeper Ellis, became the first of three successive breakthroughs for Beetham (3-20), leaving Lightfoot to make 29 not out and add what proved a precious 22 runs with last man Owens (10) before Totton were dismissed for 192.