An outstanding innings from Ollie Mills led Ventnor’s ultimately unsuccessful fightback in Saturday’s run strewn top of the table ECB Premier Division clash at South Wilts.
The 18-year-old opener produced a batting masterclass as the Islanders chased down the home side’s massive total of 334-7, striking nineteen fours and three sixes in splendid innings of 139 as he put the reigning champions attack to the sword.
Mills featured in an 87 run stand with Travis Head and when the Australian holed out to long off for 48, a superb partnership with Ian Hilsum put the visitors in sight of a remarkable win and a record breaking total for a side batting second. The pair added 137 for the third wicket, taking the reply to 241-2 as Ventnor looked to score at seven runs an over in the final hour.
The departure of Hilsum for a fine half century was a match changing dismissal, however, and when Mills was caught in the deep to bring to an end a memorable knock at 264-5 the rot set in.
Experienced seamer James Hibberd returned to the attack to run through the lower order with Ventnor denied even a draw as the final five wickets fell for only ten runs, the South Wilts all-rounder taking a hat-trick in the 60 run win.
Earlier in the day, the talented Eddie Abel had hit a highly impressive 138 to underpin the home team’s formidable score, Head’s off spin bringing him 4-98.
Hilsum’s side take on Totton & Eling at Newclose on Saturday, 11:30 start.