Burridge skipper’s faith pays off

Hampshire's James Vince hits a six during the NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston, Birmingham. PPP-170309-212743001

Hampshire start T20 Blast campaign against Glamorgan

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Rick Ankers saw his Burridge side confirm their Southern Electric Premier League premier division safety with a convincing eight-wicket win at Ventnor.

The Botley Road skipper knew his side needed to win on the final day to be sure of avoiding an instant return to division one.

And after bowling the Islanders out for 163, Alex Styles (67) and Jamie Rood (41) ensured there were no wobbles as they chased the target down with ease.

Ankers said: ‘I always remained confident in our abilities that we wouldn’t go down but we still had to prove that.

‘I’m incredibly relieved and it’s a great feeling to stay up.

‘The seconds and the thirds have also been promoted, so it’s been a really good season for the club.

‘It was the first time I won the toss in about eight games and it had a bearing on the game this time.

‘We got the best of the conditions.

‘But I just told the lads to go out and be positive.

‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing in the premier division this year and we’re all looking forward to going again next year.’

In division two, Portsmouth sent Havant II down to division three with a five-run victory in a tight tussle.

Farshan Jemildar (64) and skipper Dave Henderson (57) helped the city club to 231 for nine.

In reply, Havant II came up narrowly short of their target as they closed on 226 for seven, while Langley Manor’s victory meant relegation for Havant.

In division three, Portsmouth & Southsea’s faint hopes of avoiding the drop into the Hampshire League were extinguished as they were bowled out for a miserable 73 in their seven-wicket loss to Trojans.

The Southampton-based outfit knocked off the lowly target with ease to ensure Portsmouth & Southsea finished rock bottom of the standings.

Mid-table Waterlooville went down to a 65-run loss to South Wilts II in their final fixture in division three.

Hambledon’s division one clash with Liphook & Ripsley fell foul of the weather with the pitch deemed unplayable.