Ventnor began their ECB Southern Electric Premier Division campaign in style with a terrific four wicket win over Totton & Eling at the Linden Oval on Saturday.
Skipper Ian Hilsum invited the home side to bat first on winning the toss and saw Mark Holmes dismiss key batsman David Taylor with 64 on the board. Adam Wilson’s fine ten over spell of 3-23 checked the hosts progress but with opener Darron Augustus batting throughout the innings for an undefeated 80, the Eels closed on a challenging 251-7 from their 50 overs.
A splendid century partnership for the second wicket between Ollie Mills (58) and Chris Ridley (39) gave the Islanders’ an ideal base from which to launch a bid for victory but when Hilsum and Ben Woodhouse departed cheaply, much depended on Neil Westhorpe and Jamie Miller when the left hander and leg spinning all-rounder came together at 156-5.
The pair kept the scoreboard ticking over but with 66 runs required from the final eight overs the task looked a tough one. Westhorpe’s run a ball 39 was vital contribution but it was Miller’s late innings acceleration which proved to be the match winning knock, the 21 year old crashing an unbeaten 60 from only 42 deliveries with ten fours to clinch a 20 point victory with just one ball remaining.
St Cross Symondians are the visitors to Newclose on Saturday (11th May) at 13:00. South Australia batsman Travis Head is set to make his Ventnor debut.