GEORGE Russell and Dave Kidner wrote their names in the Southern Premier League record books as Bournemouth recorded a 33-run victory over Division One rivals Andover.
The pair shared a crucial sixth-wicket stand of 121 – the third highest in competition history – as the Lions ignited their promotion hopes by registering back-to-back wins at Chapel Gate.
Experienced Kidner was joined by youngster Russell with the Bournemouth innings in the balance at 77 for five before they combined to dispel any lingering fears of a collapse.
Kidner (54*) remained unbeaten at the close, while Russell (58) showed great maturity as Bournemouth posted a challenging 218 for seven, their total boosted by no fewer than 50 extras.
Although former Bournemouth and Dorset star Glyn Treagus (60) threatened to spoil the party, the visitors were stopped short at 185 with Jake Hurley (5-36) the hosts’ hero with the ball.
After Kidner had removed danger man Dave Taylor cheaply and Anschuman Singh had accounted for Byron Haycock, Robbie Hadfield joined Treagus to guide Andover to 123 for two.
However, their third-wicket stand of 75 was ended when Hurley trapped Treagus in front before the off-spinner then had Hadfield (38) caught by Brad Schmulian.
Hurley’s devastating five-wicket burst proved decisive as Andover crumbled to 148-8 before Gurpreet Singh (2-25) entered the fray to polish off the tail.
“It was a really good win,” said Bournemouth skipper Martin Miller. “It was built round the excellent partnership between George and David and that was no mean achievement. We scored about 100 off the final 10 overs and that gave us a good target to defend. As we have this season, we bowled and fielded excellently and ramped up the pressure.
“In the field, it was one of those performances where the guys early on had built up the pressure and the guys bowling at the death were always going to reap the rewards. Jake benefited himself from turning the screw early on and they kept holing out on the boundary. He bowled very well.
“Andover have three top-order batsmen who every side would want in their team. We got David Taylor out early on and, although Glyn batted very well, I think we managed to keep him away from the strike for long periods and that put pressure on his partners. We also got their overseas player out cheaply.”
Miller, who was convinced he had last skippered Bournemouth to back-to-back wins in his first spell as captain in 1998, added: “We have got New Milton and Sarisbury in our next two games so it is great to be going into them with two wins under our belt.”
Meanwhile, Nick Elliott starred with bat and ball as leaders New Milton recorded a fourth win on the trot by making light work of seeing off Liphook & Ripsley.
Milton’s convincing 85-run triumph owed much to man of the moment Elliott (26) who top scored as they totalled a modest 148 (Dan Loader 25, Mark House 22).
Elliott (4-7) then worked his magic with the ball as Liphook & Ripsley became the third team this season to fail to reach treble figures against Milton with Ryan Beck (2-13) and George Watts (2-14) helping to rout them for just 63.