Smith takes five but struggling Bournemouth beaten at Hook

TEENAGE talent Conor Smith returned career-best figures of 5-35 but was unable to bowl Bournemouth to a critical victory over Hook & Newnham Basics in the ECB Southern Premier League basement battle at a dusty King George V ground.

Smith and housemate Tom Willoughby (3-36) took all eight Hook wickets as Bournemouth tried bravely to defend a meagre 100.

They looked as though they might pull off an improbable victory when Hook tumbled to 86-7 – but with wickets falling apace, Basics skipper Josh Buckingham smacked 12 runs – a two, a four and a six – off the initial three balls of the Tasmanian’s 31st over to settle it.

It meant a fifth successive defeat for Bournemouth, whose only realistic prospects of survival will be to finish above second-from-bottom Burridge, who are 17 points ahead of them after the 10th round of matches.

Ironically, Burridge’s only win this season came against Bournemouth last month.

The return of Nick Park (20) bolstered Bournemouth’s top order, but when spin replaced seam the Lions tumbled from 59-1, losing four wickets for eight runs to 67-5.

Anitek Divecha (5-19) and Dan Moore (3-20) sliced through the Bournemouth order, held up by Luke Webb (18) and Chris Park, eventually last man out at 108.

Hook’s reply followed a similar pattern, opener Harry Warner (47) making comfortably the highest score of the match before spin duo Smith and Willoughby reduced them to 86-7 and then 95-8.

But Buckingham’s boundary blast ended Bournemouth’s fading hopes – his match-winning hit being a huge six off Willoughby.

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