AN heroic last-ditch stand between Ryan Gilmour and Jake Lilley failed to save Bashley from a dramatic eight-run defeat at the hands of Premier Division rivals Hampshire Academy yesterday.
The outcome on the Ageas Bowl Nursery Ground had been in doubt until the closing stages as last pair Gilmour and ex-Academy man Lilley added 68 to lift Bash from a perilous 127 for nine to 195.
Earlier, the Academy had recovered from 58 for five to post 203 with Ruel Brathwaite (47) and Brad Taylor (45) putting on 81 for the sixth wicket to steer them out of trouble.
Dorset spinner Sam Thomson (5-60) wheeled away to great effect but, after Brathwaite had gone at 139 for six, Taylor found another reliable partner in Josh McCoy (33).
Bashley would normally have fancied their chances of chasing a relatively modest total on the Nursery Ground but Brathwaite’s lively new-ball spell had them on the ropes.
The 28-year old Barbadian, who has not featured for Hampshire in the County Championship this season and last played in the innings victory over Essex in September, whipped out Michael Porter, Australian teenager Jaron Morgan and Neil Thurgood.
At 60 for three, Bashley were on the back foot and, at 114 for five when left-hander Nick Baker got a nick behind to give Guernsey teenager Matt Stokes (2-14) his maiden SPL wicket, things were decidedly sticky.
With Thomson also gone, everything rested on Bashley skipper Richard Morris (36), who pierced the boundary rope seven times before providing Tom Alsop with a second catch and the promising Stokes with his second wicket.
Bashley’s lower order crumbled and, at 127 for nine, it appeared only a matter of time before the Academy would wrap up a win.
But Gilmour, who would have batted six but for bad bruising around the base of his right thumb, and Lilley refused to yield and gradually inched the New Forest side back into the contest.
Gilmour, fresh from a noteworthy debut in Bashley’s second team the previous week when he made an unbeaten 81 after taking five wickets, was particularly effective, taking the fight back to the Academy.
Clearly in pain from his hand injury, the former Falkland all-rounder smacked two sixes – one pull shot off Tom Barber sailing into the main Ageas Bowl arena – and six fours, finding solid support from one-time Academy scholar Lilley (22) at the other end.
Gilmour’s boundary-strewn 39 – all but three of his runs breached the rope – so nearly tipped the scales before Brathwaite found the edge of Lilley’s bat to claim his fourth wicket and end the visitors’ gallant and gripping fight-back at 195.
Bashley’s neighbours Lymington crashed to the foot of the Premier Division table after being condemned to a five-wicket defeat by leaders Havant.
Aussie Damien Mortimer (93) was the mainstay of Lymington’s 227 for seven, with a pedestrian start leaving the hosts to chase runs down the order.
Although Darren Cowley (39) and Ryan Scott (29) chipped in, Lymington’s total always looked inadequate and so it proved as Pete Hopson (108) rode his luck to guide Havant to victory (Cowley 2-78, Paul McCann 2-57).
- Bashley host Lymington tomorrow in the semi-final of the New Forest President’s Cup at Bashley Cricket Ground (6.15pm start).