Hambledon give Sarisbury a real scare

Hambledon gave Southern Electric Premier League division two title-hopefuls Sarisbury a real scare before going down by four wickets at The Hollow on Saturday.

After choosing to bat, the Dons fought back from 29 for six and 79 for eight to post 189 thanks to a stunning 58 from James Atkinson and superb 35 from Will Mann.

And despite Rupert Hetherington suffering a groin strain in his first over, Hambledon reduced Sarisbury to 44 for six in reply only for an unbeaten 103 from Pete Hammond to spoil the party.

Regardless, it was a remarkable fightback from the Dons, who were in danger of complete capitulation in the face of fine new-ball spells from Sarisbury stars Dan Goldstraw (three for 11) and James Ingram (one for 23).

Nick Scutt (13) and Paul Vickers (18) began the comeback after host skipper Dave Banks (three for 30) had built on the efforts of his new-ball pair.

But it was Atkinson and Mann who really put the home side's back-up bowlers to the sword and Sarisbury failed to press home their advantage.

Atkinson's 78-ball knock included seven fours, while Mann found the rope twice in his 68-ball innings before Hambledon were bowled out in the 47th over.

Sarisbury found it equally hard against the new ball, though, as they slumped to 44 for six with Dons skipper Dan Hewitt (three for 16) producing a fine 10-over spell.

Mann continued his good work with the willow as he replaced the injured Hetherington to take three for 53.

However, similar to the defeat at Rowledge earlier this season, Hambledon were unable to press home their advantage as the remainder of the bowling attack searched in vain for a cutting edge.

Hammond found support in Jack Lovett (33 not out) - batting at eight due to injury - as they shared an unbroken stand of 147 to seal victory.