Relief for Purbrook after ‘undeserved’ win

James Gurney, right, produced a key spell for Purbrook
James Gurney, right, produced a key spell for Purbrook
Sam Robinson took five wickets to clinch victory for Bedhampton. Picture: Neil Marshall

Dan’s the man as Fareham & Crofton kick on

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PURBROOK maintained their promotion push by scraping to a four-wicket win over Bishop’s Waltham in Hampshire League division one.

The home victory keeps the Heath outfit in second place – hot on the heels of unbeaten leaders Alton II.

However, skipper Martin Lee admitted his team were lucky to get away with it.

He said: ‘It was nerve-wracking and we definitely made hard work of it.

‘They needed 11 runs off the final over with two wickets in hand, so it was still pretty tight.

‘A six off the last ball would have got them a tie.

‘But Brad Mengham bowled the final ball full and straight and they were only able to run two.

‘It was a game we didn’t really deserve to win.

‘Sometimes, though, it is all about scraping through in situations like that.’

Purbrook decided to bat first and made a steady start before losing their captain with 22 runs on the board.

That signalled a mini-collapse and the hosts found themselves in trouble at 56 for four.

It took a 74-run partnership between Sean Figgins (41) and Clark Harding (44) to rescue the innings. Ben Michel (29) and Aaron Dean (27) then contributed vital late runs before Purbrook were bowled out for 222.

Bishop’s Waltham looked in a good position when they reached 71 for two – with Adam Wymbs (30) and Ross Bullard (43) going well. Bullard eventually went for a big heave and was bowled by James Gurney.

When Gurney had Marc Boriani (28) caught by James Holder at mid-wicket it swung the game back in the home side’s favour.

‘Those two wickets gave us the lifeline we needed,’ said Lee.

‘We kept chipping away and the run-rate required continued to creep up.

‘It remained pretty tight but we kept our nerve to win it.’

Lee is hoping the scare will serve as a reminder to his team that there is still plenty of work ahead if they are to secure promotion.

The skipper said: ‘There is still a long way to go.

‘If we are not careful promotion can slip out of our hands very quickly.

‘We are determined to go up and it is something we want really bad as a club.

‘Our destiny will be decided in our final five games which is a scary thought.’

Bishop’s Waltham will also feel they have some hard work ahead if they are to maintain their division one status.

After winning promotion last season, they have won just three of their 10 games.

They are precariously placed third from bottom.

And captain Dan Wheeler knows his team need to improve.

‘We still need to change the way things are going,’ he said.