Chris Stone stranded just short of a century as Havant thrash lowly Hook & Newnham Basics in Southern Premier League
Picture: Chris Moorhouse
The batter was 97 not out when skipper Ben Walker declared his side’s innings at 248-5 off 61.5 overs of the first timed Premier Division game of the season.
In the 120-over matches, no side can bat for more than 64 overs.
Stone hit 10 fours and a six in his 116-ball innings – his highest SPL score since hitting 105 against St Cross seven years ago.
His SPL best remains 113 for Havant 2nds against Waterlooville in a Division 3 fixture in 2017.
After being inserted, Walker had departed for a duck before Charlie Whitfield (37) and Peter Hopson (37) added 67 for the second wicket.
Stone and George Metzger (23) then put on 60 for the fifth wicket before the evergreen Richard Hindley (42 not out off 32 balls) helped the former add an unbroken 105 for the sixth wicket.
In reply, both Hook openers were out to the first ball they faced.
Richard Jerry trapped Richard Willcock leg before and Sonny Reynolds had Matt Love caught behind by Metzger with his opening delivery.
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It was the second time in eight days that Reynolds had taken a wicket with his first ball. A week earlier, his figures stood at 2-0 off his first two overs in the win over Lymington.
Incredibly, he followed that up with figures of 2-0 off three overs after removing Harry Warner in his third over as Hook slumped to 11-3.
Matt Buckingham (33) and Harry Robson (24) put on 50 for the fourth wicket before the latter was run out by Stone.
Hook, now bottom of the table, sagged to 111-9 with wickets shared between Jerry (2-44), Reynolds (2-15), Freddie Gadd (2-27) and Hindley (2-27).
Stone wrapped up a 112-run success – Havant’s second three-figure win in a row, having trounced Lymington by 122 runs – by bowling last man Aniket Divecha with his fifth delivery.
Top flight leaders Hampshire Academy saw their 100 per cent record ended with a last-over defeat against St Cross in Winchester.
In a game reduced to 32 overs a side following a heavy storm, the Academy were restricted to 157-9.
It still looked to be going their way, though, when St Cross dipped to 116-7. But home skipper Ed Ellis had other ideas.
He smashed an unbeaten 39 off just 18 balls with four fours and three sixes, dominating an unbroken eighth wicket partnership of 48 with Simon Beetham (4 not out).
St Cross took 20 run off the 30th and 31st overs, leaving them to score seven off the final over bowled by Eddie Jack.
In mounting tension, there was only a bye scored off the first four deliveries. But Ellis then deposited Jack’s penultimate ball over the ropes to narrow the gap on the table-toppers to just four points.
Elsewhere in the top flight, Tom Morton struck his 22nd Southern Premier League century as South Wilts thrashed Bashley by 125 runs at Lower Bemerton.
The opener hit 13 fours and two sixes as South Wilts rattled up 276-6 declared before bowling out Bashley for 151.
Morton’s first SPL century came back in 2007, while his highest remains the 164 he smashed against Havant in 2015. That was the day Morton and James Hayward (141) put on 300 for the third wicket.
As a result of his latest century, Morton with 251 at 62.75 – is now the leading runscorer in this season’s SPL Premier Division. Stone, with 215 at 53.75, is second.
Jerry, with 12 wickets at 14.42, is the joint third highest wicket-taker, behind South Wilts’ Josh Croom (16 at 8.56) and Lymington’s James Hartshorn (14 at 17.64).