It seems Midhurst’s aspirations of playing Southern Electric Premier League cricket will have to wait for another season after an abject fielding display cost them a win at home to strugglers Compton & Chandlers Ford in division one of cricket’s Hampshire League.
The visitors chose to bat on a wicket described as a ‘batsman’s paradise’.
Early honours were fairly even as the visitors progressed to 96 for three with Jamie Hall and Ryan Lewis taking wickets. But a succession of dropped catches and diabolical misfields combined with loose bowling and big hitting saw Williamson and Haworth put on 144.
Haworth was run out for 67 but Williamson, the visitors’ New Zealander, continued his destructive innings, finishing on 151 not out, having been dropped three times.
Midhurst’s performance in the field got progressively worse as the innings went on and Compton finished on 299 for six, with 142 of those runs coming from just the final 15 overs.
The hosts felt they were still in with a chance but their optimism looked misplaced as poor batting and tight bowling saw them 26 for one and well behind the required rate.
They slumped to 76 for four before Sam Cussins offered hope with a solid 39 but after he, Hall, Tom Atkins and skipper Powell fell in quick succession, Midhurst’s chances lay in tatters.
Sensible batting by the May brothers, Chris and Steve, saw them add 57 and after the latter had fallen Chris continued his good work with Ollie Pearce as the two put on 47 for the eighth wicket.
Midhurst ended on 215 for nine, 85 short of victory, with Chris May unbeaten on 38.
Midhurst will travel to Bedhampton this weekend reflecting what might have been.