A SENSATIONAL hat-trick by 16-year-old Aidan Derbyshire, followed by an undefeated century from Rizwan Haider, were the outstanding ingredients of Ashcombe Park's much-needed win at Silverdale on Saturday.
A gritty, never-say-die effort from Ashcombe saw them clinch a thriller of a match that ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way.
Asked to bat first, Silverdale had reached 55-4 due to Jake Johnson's splendid early three-wicket haul, plus a wicket from Haider, though Ashcombe paid the price for giving opening bat Dave Leese at least two lives.
Leese shared a 61-run partnership with Louis Gwynne (32) – another young player with considerable ability – for the sixth wicket and got Silverdale back in the game.
The home side moved to 156 -6 and looked on top, but then came Derbyshire.
Leese, after a long, patient innings of 70, was the first of his victims, superbly caught by Nathan Ball at mid-on.
Mitchell Spencer was plumb lbw to the next ball and Glynn Moore was bowled all ends up to complete the trio and earned Derbyshire, who ended with figures of 3-13, the match ball.
The home side slumped to 156-9 but still wouldn't lie down as Christian Mason and Scott Degg added a valuable 22 for the final wicket.
Mason (13) was eventually caught behind off Haider (2-39), leaving Degg unbeaten on 14 and the Silverdale total at 178, with Josh Johnson (2 -27) the other successful Ashcombe bowler.
Despite the early loss of Rob Drummond and joined by Haider at 15-1, Steve Proffitt got Ashcombe's chase off to a lively start with a flat six over cover and went on to a sprightly 42 with seven further boundaries before being bowled by Degg at 62 -2.
Ryan Ball (11) helped Haider take the total to 82 -3 but Ashcombe's middle-order went to pieces after Ball was dismissed by John Shenton (1-3).
Two wickets for off-spinner Gwynne (2-37), a further wicket for Degg (2-22) and a second for Spencer had the visitors in a collapse at 119 -7, and looking beaten.
But Haider was superb, playing with enormous patience and a dash of luck, being dropped at slip early in his innings and there was a missed stumping opportunity later.
Joined by Nathan Ball, the pair slowly but surely added 50 for the eighth wicket, with Haider skilfully farming the majority of the strike and doing the bulk of the scoring.
Ball faced 44 balls in just under an hour with growing confidence and his seven runs were worth ten times as many, due to his ability to simply stay there, and he was disappointed to be adjudged lbw to Spencer (3 -53) at 169-8, for a ball that appeared to strike too high.
Any result was still possible at this stage, but Haider carefully collected two more runs from Silverdale skipper Mitchell Stokes' 12th over.
Spencer bowled the next and Derbyshire (4no) crowned a memorable day by guiding a boundary to fine leg.
A leg bye got Haider back on strike and two more runs brought the scores level before Haider finished a magnificent innings and a memorable game by hammering the winning boundary through point, taking him to exactly 100 and Ashcombe to 182 -8, to win by two wickets.