WILL BOND’s maiden Southern League century for Hambledon proved in vain as the hosts suffered an agonising one-wicket home defeat against South Wilts II.
Bond (104), in his first year of captaincy steered his side to a total of 238 all out after electing to bat first in the division two clash.
George Marshall (41), Spencer Le Clerq (20) and Harry Glanfield (20) also made good contributions with the bat.
Pradeep Bains (three for 46) and Mbulelo Nkomo (three for 33) had the visitors in deep trouble at 119 with six wickets down.
It still looked good for the home side when South Wilts needed 44 runs to win with eight wickets down.
But Hambledon couldn’t prevent them from sneaking home with two balls to spare.
‘It was a great game of cricket for the neutral,’ said Bond.
‘In the end it was disappointing to lose such a close encounter.
‘We didn’t do a lot wrong and it was all down to fine margins.
‘Maybe we failed to take a couple of chances early on and that is what ended up costing us in the long run.
‘In the final overs their number 11 batsman played and missed a couple of times when we brought our two opening bowlers back.’
Bond has been in excellent form in the early weeks and he again showed great concentration to bat throughout most of the Hambledon innings.
His extra responsibility has had a positive effect on his batting.
And he is enjoying the leadership role.
Though Bains and Nkomo were the main wicket takers Bond had special praise for debut making George Harding.
It was a good start for him, keeping his cool.
‘George came on and bowled a very controlled spell of off spin after we had leaked some early runs,’ said Bond.
‘It was excellent from someone making their Southern League debut.’
In division three Gosport Borough took the local honours with a five wicket win over Waterlooville at Rowlands Avenue.
Alex Shephard (57) top scored as the home side were bowled out for 177 runs.
Conor Regan (three for 24) and Dale Patternotte (three for 26) did the damage.
Michael Ruffell (73) crashed 11 fours and along with opener Lee Harrop (66) set Borough on their way to the win.
Havant II suffered a fourth straight defeat losing by four wickets in their clash with Langley Manor.