Dave Henderson admitted he thought he had been stitched up after a horror start to his tenure as Portsmouth captain.
But after guiding the St Helen’s outfit back to the top of Southern Electric Premier League division three with a six-wicket win over Trojans, the new skipper was thankful he managed to persuade Vickram Dawson to play – despite a broken finger.
Henderson, who took over from James Scott this week, said: ‘At 10am, it was turning into a nightmare.
‘I only had nine players as Rob Jones dropped out with illness.
‘I was thinking “this captaincy lark is a bit of a stitch-up”.
‘But then I managed to convince Vickram Dawson to play with a broken finger.
‘He came on and got a wicket with his first ball and the whole game changed.
‘The best thing I did as captain was to convince him to play. I just told him to man-up.
‘It was only his little finger on his other hand but he did a great job for me and ended up with three wickets.
‘In the end, it turned out to be a good start and a real bonus when we heard Havant II had lost.’
Trojans were bowled out for 180 as Dawson (three for 31) and Jed Whitecross (three for 35) did the damage.
And then Henderson (62 not out) led his side home.
Havant II were knocked off top spot after a four-wicket defeat to Bashley (Rydal) II.
Bowled out for 181, Phil Loat (three for 30) could not halt the New Forest outfit’s march to victory.
Portsmouth & Southsea look to be sliding closer towards relegation from division three.
They slipped to another defeat – losing by two wickets to Basingstoke & North Hants II.
With Dave Tiller absent, Matt Benfield stepped up to take charge and played a captain’s knock with 68, while Jack Davies (62) also contributed to the total of 235.
Benfield starred with the ball, too, as he claimed four for 42 but it was not enough to save them from defeat.
In division two, United Services were thumped by nine wickets in their clash at Basingtoke & North Hants.