Collapse costs Dons victory in key clash

A middle-order collapse sent Hambledon tumbling to a 45-run defeat against promotion hopefuls Tichborne Park in Southern League division two.

Monday, 22nd August 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:53 pm
There was little joy for Rhidian Chapman & Co at Ridge Meadow. Picture: Malcolm Wells (160813-5879)

The Ridge Meadow outfit lost eight wickets for 23 runs as they attempted to chase down a rain-reduced target of 186.

Rob Atkins, who took the reins in the absence of skipper Will Bond, felt his team were on top until the collapse.

‘It is not the first time we have imploded like that,’ he said.

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George Marshall hit 58

‘We rely a little too heavily on our top two or three batsmen to score the runs.

‘When we have one or two missing, it shows a lack of strength in depth.

‘For me, that is the difference between us being a mid-table side or one challenging for the title.’

Atkins won the toss and chose to field but the Dons missed opening bowler Rupert Hetherington as Rhidian Chapman and Prad Bains – despite tireless efforts in tough conditions – failed to make inroads with the new ball.

George Marshall hit 58

Tichborne were 123 without loss before off-spinner George Harding (four for 37), Indy Chakrabarti (three for 44) and Shane Nkomo (two for 26) turned the tables to restrict the visitors to 197.

With showers around, George Marshall (58) then put Hambledon ahead of the required run-rate.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts.

‘George Harding bowled brilliantly,’ added Atkins.

‘He has stepped up superbly this season.

‘It is just frustrating we couldn’t finish it off because Tichborne were there for the taking.’

In division three, Havant II slipped to their seventh defeat of the season with a five-wicket loss at St Cross II.

The visitors were in trouble at 45 for six after winning the toss and batting.

A 69-run stand for the sixth wicket between Graham Burns (38) and Jack Davies (24) enabled Havant to reach 119 – but it was never going to be enough.

Relegation-threatened Waterlooville had their game at Langley Manor was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Gosport Borough had hosts Basingstoke & North Hants 64 for three when rain washed the contest out.