CAPTAIN Ryan Beck was left a relieved man after New Milton survived a titanic collapse to edge to a one-wicket victory over Hook & Newnham Basics.
The Southern Premier League Division One leaders were cruising at 100-3 as they chased a target of 125 at Fernhill Sports Ground.
However, the hosts then lost six batsmen for the gain of just 25 runs, putting the clash on a knife edge.
Requiring a single run for no loss, tail-enders Nick Gargaro and George Watts saw New Milton to the tightest of victories.
Beck told the Daily Echo: “We were nervous but at the end of the day we got over the line and you have to win games like that.
“Our batting has to improve if we want to win this league. We’re bowling teams out and then just sneaking over the line to get the points.
“The batting is a worry and if we end up chasing 250 in a different game, it might not happen.
“People have got to start getting the runs themselves and not relying on other batsmen to do it for them.”
Despite his warnings, Beck was delighted that his side had retained their grip on top spot and increased their 100 per cent winning record.
And he praised the initial display that restricted the visitors to a meagre 125.
“You can pick it apart but the fact is we’re six out of six and again our bowling and fielding was superb,” said Beck.
“We’ve got a tough few games coming up and if we can get through then we will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Having elected to bowl, New Milton met with strong resistance from opener Ben Thane but many of his team-mates struggled at the crease.
Thane made his way to 50 before being caught by wicketkeeper Beck off the bowling of Nick Gargaro.
The medium pace of Gargaro was causing major problems and he eventually ended up with figures of three for 15, bowling five maidens.
Gargaro also dislodged middle- order batsmen Nick Wilcock and Josh Buckingham, while a couple of run-outs from Mark House helped the cause.
Opener Nick Park (39) and Nick Elliott were New Milton’s top scorers in reply (32), before the home side clung on for victory late on.
Elsewhere, Bournemouth suffered a one-wicket defeat to Hambledon in Division One.