Lever hits Hayling ton but winless run goes on

Mike Hallett hit 92 for Hayling. Picture: Mick Young
Mike Hallett hit 92 for Hayling. Picture: Mick Young
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MIKE LEVER hit his first century of the Hampshire League division one season for winless Hayling Island but insisted: I would have traded it for a duck and our first victory.

The league’s bottom side appeared set for a maiden triumph at Ventnor II when Lever (114) and Mike Hallett (92) shared a magnificent opening partnership of 221.

But a subsequent batting collapse left the visitors with a disappointing score of 275, which the home side were able to chase down with four wickets to spare.

Lever felt Hayling could have made 320 on the pitch.

He said: ‘That’s my first ton of the season, so I was really happy from a personal view.

‘But to be honest, I would have traded it for a duck and our first victory.

‘I have felt good with the bat this season and had a lot of starts but not been able to cash in.

‘Luckily, I was able to get that big score on Saturday, it’s just a shame that we weren’t quite good enough.

‘We had a good batting line-up on and the track was lovely.

‘It is one of the best tracks I have batted on all year.

‘I felt pretty good with the bat and didn’t really give them a chance – neither did Mikey (Hallett).

‘It was all going well but with 10 overs to go I changed the order around to put our big hitters in and they got out very cheaply.

‘We were on for 320 at least, so that to me was the largest contributing factor as to why we lost the game.

‘We simply petered out in the last 10 overs.’

Lever admitted his frustrations that his side could not capitalise on a promising start to the innings and compared Saturday’s game with Hayling’s season as a whole.

He said: ‘It’s frustrating but that is the story of our season.

‘We have put in good performances here and there but have just gone off the boil at key times.

‘Whether it has been in the bowling or batting we have just not quite done enough.

‘Years previous, a total of 275 the majority of the time you would win the game – in this league that is not the case.

‘It’s been a bit of a wake-up call that these sorts of scores are chased down easily if you are not on the money.’

Lever, though, insisted the mood in the camp is not one of resignation, despite 11 successive losses.

He added: ‘We are not completely resigned to relegation.

‘We are always going to fight in every game.

‘The mood in the camp is that we have just got to start enjoying our cricket.

‘At the end of the day it is still a game.

‘It’s easy to get a bit low with how things are going so we are now just focusing on enjoying ourselves.’