A FANTASTIC rearguard action saw Havant to a thrilling one wicket Southern League premier division win over St Cross Symondians.
Last wicket pair Chris Morgan (55 not out) and Thomas Vanderslik (20 not out) helped the home side snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a dramatic finale at Havant Park.
The duo put on 64 runs to seal an unlikely win and keep Havant unbeaten this season.
Prospects looked bleak for the hosts when they needed 65 runs to win with their final two batsmen at the crease.
Morgan and Vanderslik, however, kept their nerve to finally see their side over the winning line.
Ben Walker was a mightily relieved home captain at the end.
‘It was an unbelievable effort from our last wicket pair,’ said Walker.
‘What we witnessed was almost unreal.
‘They both did exceptionally well in what was virtually a lost cause.
‘Until they arrived at the crease we had been off the pace and outplayed by St Cross for much of the game.
‘To be honest, I had virtually resigned myself to getting beat.
‘However, from nowhere they got us out of jail.
‘The innings that Chris (Morgan) played is one of the best I have seen for a long time in a pressure situation.
‘It was outrageous.
‘He is that sort of character, though, and there are not many people more competitive than he is.
‘Alongside him Tommy (Vanderslik) showed remarkable calmness for a young lad in that situation.’
Earlier St Cross, aided by some sloppy fielding, had declared their innings at 265 for eight with Richard Hindley taking three wickets for 47 runs.
Havant struggled to 74 for four before Stuart Ransley (45) and Hindley (45) led a recovery.
‘Both Stuart and Richard played nicely but will be equally frustrated they didn’t go on to make bigger scores,’ said Walker.
But wickets continued to fall in clusters as St Cross looked like they were heading for victory.
They hadn’t reckoned on Havant’s battling final pair.
‘Chris Morgan is confident and always backs his ability,’ said Walker.
‘Slowly he and Tommy started ticking things off and got it down to a run a ball in the final four overs.
‘Then we started to think winning might be possible.
‘One mistake would have finished us but they made sure that didn’t happen.
‘We were all on the edge of our seats at the end.’
Havant needed two runs from the final ball of the game.
And the pair scurried home after Morgan drove his shot to deep mid-wicket – providing a big boost to the team in their title pursuit.
‘It is always nice to keep an unbeaten start going,’ said Walker.
‘But this win was down to just two players.
‘This win will give us more confidence in our bid to take back the title.’