Calmore Sports lost their first nine wickets for 25 runs against Basingstoke & North Hants and were headed for an all-time low British Gas Southern League total before last pair Dom Ducellier and Dan Crofts spared their blushes.

They added an amazing 85 for the last wicket to lift Calmore to 110 before Basingstoke polished off the total three down to take over the Division One leadership.

Bowling straight and taking advantage of new ball nibble off the Loperwood Park surface, Martin James (5-8) and David Griffiths (4-27) ran amok.

Between them they hit the stumps six times and picked up two leg before decisions as five of Calmore’s top seven batsmen bagged ducks.

At 25-9, Calmore looked set to break the SPLs lowest total of 29 (set by Portsmouth in 2007), but with the aid of some untidy fielding, Ducellier and Croft went on the offensive to relieve their embarrassment.

Making his Calmore debut, former South Wilts man Ducellier smacked two sixes and six fours in a maiden 58 and with Croft (23 not out) in support, gave his new team-mates a glimmer of hope.

“We bowled pretty straight and at the stumps with the new ball and didn’t give them any width,” said Basingstoke skipper Mitchell Stokes.

“Martin (James) worked his magic and was four wickets for no runs after seven overs, with six maiden overs on the trot.

“He seems to be doing something with it, either bringing it in or swinging it away.

“We’re creating lots of chances for ourselves at the start of the innings. It was such a shame we dropped catches and allowed them to get 110, but I’d have taken that at the outset.

“We are dropping far too many catches and aren’t killing teams off like we should be.”

Calmore needed early wickets if they were going to test Basingstoke’s mettle, but it didn’t happen.

They had 33 runs on the board before Dan Belcher (24) holed out and were virtually out of sight at 89-2 when Mitchell Stokes (38) perished, having twice cleared the boundary rope and hit five other fours.

Little George Metzger (28) got in some useful batting practice before today’s ESCA Bunbury Under-15 Festival at Stowe School before Basingstoke clinched a seven-wicket win.

With seven matches remaining, Basingstoke share a 175-point tally with Calmore Sports, but are top of SPL1 by virtue of having completed the double over their Totton-based rivals.