Hambledon safety push is boosted by victory

Prad Baines, right, did well for Hambledon
Prad Baines, right, did well for Hambledon
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Hambledon continued their climb up Southern Electric division two with a 137-run win over Paultons – a second consecutive success for the Ridge Meadow outfit.

Stand-in captain Will Bond, taking charge in the absence of Rob Atkins, is convinced his team can stay up.

‘I have no doubts that we are well on our way to survival,’ said Bond.

‘This was probably our best performance so far this season, with everyone chipping in.

‘Everything came together and we have given ourselves an excellent chance.

‘Having George Marshall back in the top order gives us a more aggressive look and that is something we have been missing.’

All the batsmen got involved after Hambledon won the toss and decided to bat first.

Marshall and South African Shane Nkomo (49) held the innings together, with Will Mann (31) and Kyle Shinn (23 not out) playing their part as the home side finished on 218 for nine.

Paultons were blasted out for just 81 runs with 19-year-old Prad Baines impressing.

Baines took one wicket and conceded six runs off his seven overs.

Shinn, Rhidian Chapman, Nkomo and Ian Turner all grabbed a brace of wickets each.

In the premier division, Hampshire Academy beat Sarisbury Athletic by seven wickets.

Mason Crane, full of confidence following his Hampshire T20 debut against Surrey the night before, took four wickets for 59 runs.

Sarisbury were bowled out for 249 with David Banks (61), Basil Akram (63) and Ryan Burl (42) all chipping in.

A second-wicket partnership of 177 runs between Isle of Wight based left-hander Ben Duggan (116 not out) and 16-year-old Jake Goodwin (96) set the hosts on the way to victory.

Ventnor earned a welcome four-wicket win over St Cross Symondians, with Neil Westhorpe (64 not out) the key batsman.

Mark Holmes (five for 50) impressed with the ball.

Westhorpe and Hugh Calloway (29) then held their nerve to clinch a vital success for the strugglers.