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Bournemouth tactics hand Havant draw

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South African Chris Cooke struck a stunning century but Bournemouth were unable to turn the screw and force victory in a high scoring affair with triple champions Havant.

Cooke, who is in the Cape Cobras Emerging Players' squad in Cape Town, survived two run-outs but hit a majestic 106 not out - an innings high on quality and bristling with a huge six and 16 fours.

The 24-year old, who is trialling with Glamorgan, came to the crease with Bournemouth already well placed at 186 for three on the strength of half-centuries by Mark House (58), James Park (54) and a solid 40 by Martin Miller.

Bournemouth batted their entire 64 overs for a massive 332 for five, batting Havant out of the game - and, to some extent, depriving themselves of adequate time to bowl their opponents out.

Yet when Havant sank to 127 for six (Chris Morgan 47) a fifth straight Bournemouth victory appeared on the cards.

But a second spin bowling option and surprising tactics let Havant off the hook - Ben Walker (48 not out) and Jez Bulled (57) playing out the final hour to earn their side an improbable draw at 223 for seven.

Lymington's visit to Ventnor's Newclose home produced a tedious draw - the visiting piling up 274 for six and Ventnor replying with 206 for seven.

Morgan Rushbrook (74) and Cameron Grierson, with a maiden 62, top scored for Lymington, with Mark Holmes returning 5-52. Ian Hilsum's 94 ensured Ventnor a draw at 206 for seven.

Early season front-runners Totton & Eling are in free-fall after crashing to a third successive ECB Southern Electric Premier League defeat.

The Eels looked to be the team everyone would have to beat after sweeping to straight wins over Ventnor, Lymington and South Wilts.

But things have turned dramatically with defeats against the Hampshire Academy and Havant preceding a 30-run loss to Bashley (Rydal) at Southern Gardens.

Totton were on the back foot in their opening Time Pennant match directly Andy Sexton (59) and Neil Thurgood (51) posted a century opening stand for the visitors.

Bashley's innings lost direction when Owamir Afzal (5-66) and David Banks (2-38) sent five wickets tumbling for 19 runs.

But Andy Neal held Bashley together - his unbeaten 79 steering the visitors to 233 all out. Totton lost Jimmy Taylor cheaply, but Banks (66), Derek Kenway (28) and James Manning (36) set a run chase up nicely at 135 for two.

The middle-order fell away dramatically against spin duo Ross Grierson (3-34) and Andy Sexton (3-43), Totton nose-diving to 164 for seven before Matt King (3-35) ended the innings at 203 all out.

Simon Branston celebrated his second consecutive five-wicket haul and Tom Morton cracked 81 as South Wilts whipped St Cross Symondians by six wickets at Lower Bemerton.

The result enabled South Wilts to replace their Winchester visitors in second place behind Bournemouth.

Only James Irvine-Fortescue, who made 66 and was fifth out at 122, and Lawrie Prittipaul (31) made any impression in a weak Symondians' batting performance.

Branston and seam partner James Hibberd (2-27) shredded the St Cross batting until the left-arm spin of Paul Draper (3-30) accounted for the tail.

Chasing a modest 162, South Wilts saw three batsmen perish cheaply to Tim Lewis (3-29), but Morton remained in imperious control, effectively winning the match for the Salisbury club.

He remained at the crease until 126 for four, after which Hibberd (34) and Steve Riddle (25) were able to wrap things up.