BUOYANT Tom Morton racked up another monstrous ton and his third at the Linden Oval in the past five years as South Wilts consolidated their position as ECB Southern Electric Premier League leaders with an emphatic 138-run win over relegation-bound Totton & Eling.
Morton struck a boundary strewn 135 as South Wilts powered to 331-7 before bowling Totton out for 192.
He is now only 12 short of 1,000 competitive runs for the season for South Wilts, who have stretched their lead at the top of the Premier Division by seven points from Havant with three 50- over matches left to play.
They start with a ‘replay’ of tomorrow’s Electric t20 Cup final with Lymington at Bemerton on Saturday (1pm).
Morton’s distinct liking for the Southern Gardens track – he made 131 there in 2010 and 153 two seasons ago – continued apace as South Wilts cashed in against a weakened Eels attack down to only three front line bowlers.
Having shared a tidy 67- run start with Steve Riddle (37), Morton drove remorselessly on, hitting the boundary rope at will during a prolific third-wicket partnership with James Hayward.
The pair added 146, Hayward hitting two sixes and ten fours in a 60-ball 76 before he miscued an intended big hit off Hakim Peruzi high to the wicketkeeper.
Morton scored runs at will, smashing one six and 22 fours in his 135, made out of 285-4.
The South Wilts captain has now scored 591 runs this season and is firm favourite to win the Premier Division batting prize for the first time in five years.
Having bowled a runweary Morton, left-armer James Haggaty (4-57) surprisingly found himself on a hat-trick when Joe Cranch holed out first ball on the boundary.
But Ryan Burl (24) and Rob Franklin (24 not out) went on to steer South Wilts well past the 300-mark and out of sight.
James Hibberd (3-16) removed Totton openers Haggaty (12) and Tom Arnold (10).
South Australia prospect Cameron Valente (66) kept the Totton response afloat as Steve Warner (3-55) and Franklin (2-33) reduced the reply to 98-6.
Valente departed – the first of two victims for Hayward (2-34) – at 150-7 and after a spirited stand with Richard Dibden (33).
Peruzi (27) gave Warner the long handle treatment, but with three overs still to be bowled and Totton eight runs short of what could be a precious seventh bonus point in their bid to stave off relegation, he holed out with the Eels 192 all out.