Ventnor suffered a disappointing opening day defeat in Division One of the Southern Cricket League, slumping to a six-wicket beating at Andover.
Ventnor struggled for numbers, with no fewer than 13 players unavailable, including skipper Chris Russell, who said: “It was just one of those weeks, and very frustrating.
Those who were missing included five first team regulars, but the lads did what they could, and at least we picked up three points, which is better than none.”
As a result, Ventnor, played with only 10 men and batting first, struggled to get to grips with the home side’s bowling attack, led by Charlie Ayres, who claimed four wickets for 38 in 8.5 overs.
Opener Charlie Calloway dug in for the Island side, top scoring with 36, including five boundaries, off 94 deliveries. Souvak Sanyal offered some support with 24, and Ben Woodhouse hit a quick-fire 21 off 29 balls.
But with wickets continuing to fall at regular intervals Ventnor reached only 125 all out in 39.5 overs, their last five wickets falling for just 30 runs.
In reply, Andover rarely looked troubled, with a second wicket stand of 79 between Glyn Treagus and Lewis McManous taking them within sight of victory.
Despite a late flurry from Ventnor, which saw them claim three wickets for eight runs, Andover reached their target in only the 21st over, to take 21 points, with Ventnor managing three – one for batting and two for bowling.
Full-strength Ventnor are expecting much better fortunes tomorrow (Sat) when they play their first home league game of the season against Old Tauntonians and Romsey, with a 12.30pm start.
Pictured: Ben Woodhouse, who hit 21 off 29 balls.