Cricket: Batting collapse leads to shock defeat for title-chasing New Milton

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First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

NEW Milton’s 100 per cent winning record in Division One was ended in extraordinary fashion courtesy of a five-run defeat by Hambledon at Fernhill.

Although Lee Beck (2-40), Lynton Staniford (2-38) and Ben Lawes (2-32) were among the wickets, the visitors – bowled out for just 47 in the reverse fixture in May – posted 224 for nine.

And despite Mark House (35) hanging around, his partners disappeared with alarming regularity as New Milton slumped to 62 for seven in reply.

However, number eight Toby Edwards sparked an amazing recovery as the Green & Golds looked to salvage a miraculous victory from the jaws of defeat.

Edwards (80) hit 10 fours and three sixes in his 53-ball stay, sharing 78 for the eighth wicket with Lee Beck and 34 for the nine with George Watts (31*). But despite his efforts, New Milton eventually came up short at 219 for nine.

Also in Division One, Dorset new boy Ben Bridgen maintained his impressive form as Bournemouth recorded a four-wicket win over Basingstoke & North Hants at May’s Bounty.

Bridgen (53) laid the foundations for the Lions to chase down Basingstoke’s 140 for nine in a match reduced to 33 overs a side.

Earlier, Mike Kitson (2-15) and Matthew Jones (2-28) had reduced the hosts to 43 for four before Dave Kidner (2-23) also chipped in.

And after Bridgen had paved the way for victory, Jake Hurley (33) remained unbeaten as Bournemouth reached 142 for six with four balls in hand.

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