It was a case of so near and yet so far again for Portsmouth & Southsea – with a bad batting collapse resulting in a four-run defeat against Bashley (Rydal) II in Southern Premier League division three.
Vice-captain Matt Benfield rated the batting collapse as right up there with the worst he has seen in cricket.
Chasing 125 runs to win, the hosts looked in good order at 46 for two.
But wickets started to tumble.
They only needed four runs to win when Chris Turrell was clean bowled with the second ball of the 40th over.
Benfield said: ‘We threw the game away.
‘It was nothing to do with the wicket and we only have ourselves to blame.
‘I have seen some collapses and this was right up there with the worst.
‘Our batting was less than ordinary and all in all it wasn't a good day.'
The game started well for Portsmouth & Southsea after they won the toss and put the New Forest side in.
Jake Peach (three for 22) beautifully swung the ball both ways to remove both the openers very early on.
Ben Saunders also bowled well, for a third game in a row, without picking up any wickets.
Benfield added: ‘Once we bowled them out cheaply we thought that it would be a case of knocking the runs off and having it done and dusted by 5.30pm.
‘But it is never quite as simple as that.’
Ollie Kanavan (20) and Jack Davies (17) put the home side on track after some early wickets.
From that point Portsmouth & Southsea fell away badly to suffer a fourth successive defeat.Benfield added: ‘With a lot of other teams rained off it was a great opportunity missed.
‘We keep getting ourselves into good positions and not finishing things off.
‘Either we bat well or bowl well but have not produced a good all-round team performance.
‘We have only been outplayed once and it is difficult to understand how we have lost five games.
‘Despite this we don’t have a relegation mentality.
‘We are convinced we will still finish in the top half of the league.
‘It is still early days.’