Ventnor kept in touch with ECB Southern Electric Premier Division leaders South Wilts after number ten Rob Snell hit a four off the last ball of a high scoring game to earn his side a winning draw and 15 points at St Cross on Saturday.
The left hander arrived at the crease to face the final delivery of the match with the home side’s Jordan Finney on a hat trick and four runs needed to reach a winning draw target of 283. With the field deep set, Snell proceeded to slam the off-spinner to the long on boundary to bring to a climax an entertaining match which produced a total of 606 runs.
The match saw Ventnor’s Ollie Mills underline his growing reputation as one of the league’s leading young batsmen with his second big hundred in three games. The opener struck 22 boundaries and a six in a magnificent innings of 140, taking his run tally for the season past 500 and the former Winchester College captain to the top of the division’s list of run getters. Travis Head is also nearing the 500 mark after another splendid knock in a partnership of 167 for the second wicket with Mills. The South Australian and under 19 international colleague of new Aussie hero Ashton Agar hammered 12 fours in a fine display, his innings of 82 coming from only 65 balls as Ventnor set about chasing the home side’s formidable total of 323-5 from 64 overs.
Sustaining such a run chase was never going to be easy in stifling heat on the Royal Green Jackets Ground and once Mills’ fine innings ended at 265-5, the Islanders were grateful to Snell for his last ball heroics to clinch their winning draw as the innings closed on 283-8.
Earlier in the day, the St Cross openers had dominated the Ventnor attack in a partnership of 202, George Adair cracking a fine 104 and Charlie Esson an impressive 92 before Hampshire’s Adam Rouse struck a quickfire 65 not out. Mark Holmes took 2-49 from 13 overs.
Old rivals Lymington are the visitors to Newclose on Saturday, 11.30 start.