South African batter De Villiers extends stunning start to Hambledon career with maiden Southern Premier League ton – Waterlooville knocked off top spot in Division 2

Matt De Villiers extended his stunning start to life at Hambledon with a century on the day Waterlooville were knocked off top spot in the third tier of the Southern Premier League.
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The South African batter struck 100 off 89 balls against Fawley as the Dons claimed a fourth successive Division 2 victory.

That followed three half-centuries in his first three league games for the club - 89 (v Fair Oak), 69 (v OTs & Romsey) and 63 not out (v St Cross 2nds).

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De Villiers now has 319 league runs at 106.33 and is the leading runscorer in the division.

Waterlooville's Josh McGregor survives a shout for LBW in his side's loss to Andover.
Picture: Keith WoodlandWaterlooville's Josh McGregor survives a shout for LBW in his side's loss to Andover.
Picture: Keith Woodland
Waterlooville's Josh McGregor survives a shout for LBW in his side's loss to Andover. Picture: Keith Woodland

After being inserted, Dons slipped to 33-2 with Dan McGovern (19) and Henry Glanfield (0) back in the pavilion.

But De Villiers, coming in at No 4, helped opener George Marshall (66) add 116 for the third wicket.

When De Villiers’ 87-ball innings was ended, tailenders Jonty Oliver (30) and Ben Reilly (16) helped Hambledon total 269-9 (extras 31).

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Fawley’s reply began badly when opener Sufian Munir (0) was dismissed by James Restall’s first ball.

Waterlooville's Alex Shepherd reacts to his dismissal against Andover.

Picture: Keith WoodlandWaterlooville's Alex Shepherd reacts to his dismissal against Andover.

Picture: Keith Woodland
Waterlooville's Alex Shepherd reacts to his dismissal against Andover. Picture: Keith Woodland

Dons skipper Spencer Le Clercq ended up using eight bowlers, and it was Oliver - the seventh of those used - who helped mop up the tail with 4-18 as Fawley were dismissed for 203 to lose by 66 runs.

Hambledon, promoted as Division 3 champions last year, would be sitting in top spot had they not had 20 points deducted for a close-season administration error.

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As it is, Andover now occupy first place after knocking previous leaders Waterlooville off their perch with a surprisingly comfortable success at Rowlands Avenue.

Waterlooville's Tim Jackson batting against Andover.

Picture: Keith WoodlandWaterlooville's Tim Jackson batting against Andover.

Picture: Keith Woodland
Waterlooville's Tim Jackson batting against Andover. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Aiming for their seventh successive league win - including the end of the 2021 season - Ville collapsed to 107 all out after being inserted.

Skipper Archie Reynolds (3) and opening partner Gabriel Broadhurst (0) were removed by Mike Adams (2-12) and Ville’s innings never recovered.

No 3 Alex Shepherd (20) top scored with the bat - one of only three double figure innings - while extras (24) were the overall top scorer.

Sam Hillman struck with the first ball of Andover’s reply, trapping Harri Williams leg before, but Sam Ashman’s unbeaten 59 helped the visitors romp to an eight-wicket win inside 25 overs.

Waterlooville's Josh McGregor batting against Andover.

Picture: Keith WoodlandWaterlooville's Josh McGregor batting against Andover.

Picture: Keith Woodland
Waterlooville's Josh McGregor batting against Andover. Picture: Keith Woodland
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Elsewhere in the division, OTs & Romsey were close to completing a stunning 10-wicket win over St Cross 3rds.

Asked to chase 209 for victory, OTs openers Joseph Vaughan and skipper Charlie King put on 205 before the latter was dismissed for 79.

Vaughan ended unbeaten on 110 - his maiden SPL century - as St Cross, relegated from Division 1 in 2021, suffered a fourth straight league loss of 2022.