Leading top flight runscorer is Havant hero with the ball in tense Southern Premier League win – and division’s top wicket-taker Josh Croom stars against Burridge

The Southern Premier League’s highest runscorer in the top flight this season gave Havant a dramatic victory - with the ball!

Chris Stone had overseas all-rounder Jaidel Richardson caught by Harry Gadd as the visitors secured a one-run Premier Division win at Totton & Eling.

That ended a fine last-wicket stand of 32 between Anguillan Richardson (55) and last man Joe Bracey (12 not out) that spanned 10 overs and threatened to sentence Havant to their third one-wicket SPL loss of the campaign.

Chasing 173 for victory at Southern Gardens, Totton looked destined for a heavy defeat at 68-7. But No 9 Brighton Mugochi (49 off 31 balls) and Richardson, batting at No 8, put on 71 for the eighth wicket.

Chris Stone took the last wicket as Havant pipped Totton & Eling by just one run. Picture: Keith Woodland

That stand ended on 139 when Mugochi was caught by Stone off the bowling of Harry Gadd, with Sam Beer then run out by Stone without any further runs added.

Stone had earlier taken his league run tally to 483 with 55 - his fifth score of 50 or more in nine innings in 2022 - as Havant were bowled out for 171.

Stone hit seven fours and two sixes in his 51-ball innings before he was trapped leg before by Leo Taylor, son of Havant & Waterlooville FC record goalscorer James Taylor.

*Teenager Josh Croom extended his lead at the top of the Southern Premier League wicket-taking list as Burridge failed to spring a shock against table-topping South Wilts.

The 19-year-old left-arm quickie bagged 5-48 - his third haul of five or more SPL wickets this year - as Burridge were dismissed for 163.

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Croom - who has played for Hampshire 2nds in 2022 - now has a startling 33 league victims at an average of just 10.76. That’s 12 more wickets than the second highest bowler, Bashley’s Josh Digby, has taken across the four SPL divisions.

Croom clean bowled both Burridge openers - Azimunnoor Chowdhury (21) and Jack Paskins (16) - as well as removing skipper Joe Collings-Wells (11) as the hosts, still minus the injured Hilio De Abreu, slipped to 64-3.

Keeper Nathan Schultz hit a defiant 50 off 46 balls but off-spinner Tom Lewis (5-26) grabbed a SPL career best as Burridge’s last five wickets clattered for just 13 runs.

Croom - who has spent the last two English winters playing for Glenelg in Australian grade cricket - was unable to claim his third six-wicket haul of 2022, following on from his 6-16 against Bournemouth and his 6-45 against Totton & Eling.

In reply, South Wilts’ prolific openers for once failed to shine. Jack Stearman was out first ball while Tom Morton managed just 18. But Australian Peter Rowe hit an unbeaten 77 - a fortnight after whacking 162 not out against Totton - as South Wilts romped to an eight-wicket success.

Matthew Falconer - who back in May hit an undefeated 108 for South Wilts 2nds against Gosport Borough - was 41 not out.

South Wilts are 15 points clear of St Cross at the top of the table after Hampshire all-rounder Felix Organ top scored in the latter’s victory over Bashley.

Organ, a regular in Hampshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship campaign, hit 65 as St Cross posted 252-9 in Winchester.

Australian Sam Beer’s third successive five-wicket haul then contributed to Bashley being hustled out for 126.

Beer took 5-24 against Hook & Newnham Basics on June 18 and followed that up with 5-55 against Bournemouth seven days later. He set a new SPL best for the second time in three Saturdays with 5-19 as St Cross celebrated a 126-run success.