Veteran Beck turns in superb all-round display as  Sarisbury CC suffer opening-day defeat

Veteran Lee Beck starred with bat and ball as Sarisbury suffered defeat in their opening Southern Premier League game against New Milton.

By Simon Carter
Monday, 3rd May 2021, 12:32 pm
Josh Hill top scored for Sarisbury in their opening SPL loss to New Milton. Picture: Neil Marshall/YASPS.
Josh Hill top scored for Sarisbury in their opening SPL loss to New Milton. Picture: Neil Marshall/YASPS.

Beck, who has been playing for New Milton since the 1990s, hit an unbeaten 81 and took five cheap wickets as Sarisbury tumbled to a 69-run Division 1 loss at The Hollow.

After Sarisbury skipper Ricky Rawlins had won the toss and elected to field, New Milton were given a 64-run start by openers Toby Edwards (42) and Joe Hall (20).

South African overseas Harlan Greig hit 29 on debut before Beck, batting at No 4, struck seven fours and three sixes in a 74-ball unbeaten 81.

That innings helped propel New Milton to 263-6 off 40 overs - the second highest score across the four SPL divisions on opening day (only Fair Oak, with 293-7 against Ventnor, boasted a higher total).

All five Sarisbury bowlers were among the wickets but only Jordan Wright (2-46) bagged more than one.

Following rain, Sarisbury were set a revised target of 244 off 37 overs - a challenge quickly made more difficult when opener Rawlins (4) was trapped leg before.

Elliot Smith (37) and Jack Lovett (22) made starts before Josh Hill top scored with 59 off 44 balls with 10 fours and a six.

Sarisbury were well placed on 140-3 but the introduction of Beck - who in 2001 took 6-36 against US Portsmouth in a SPL fixture - as fourth change was the catalyst for a collapse.

Beck proceeded to take 5-20 off just four overs as Sarisbury were dismissed for 177 - losing their last seven wickets for 37 runs.