BAT Sports are back at the top of the ECB Southern Electric Premier League, ironically for the first time since they lifted the championship last September.

They swapped places with Havant after a nervy three-wicket win at Havant Park - a result that owed much to the application and determination of teenager Damian Shirazi, whose undefeated 66 won the match.

Having dismissed the overnight leaders for a modest 129, BAT appeared to be cruising home at 96-2. But a middle-order collapse, in which four wickets fell for just six runs, left the outcome in doubt until the end.

Match winner Shirazi felt that the pressure, brought about by the tenseness of the top-table occasion, and the predictably slow pitch had led to a comparatively low scoring game.

"Physiologically, 129 was a difficult target to chase on what was a slow, low-bounce Havant track," he said. "After all the rain we've had recently, it was never going to be easy to bat on and it created pressure, with all the batsmen having to fight for their runs.

"Havant never give you anything and, losing seven partners at various times, I had to curb my aggression and scrap it out to the very end."

Shirazi's heroics ensured that BAT recorded their first-ever win over the "auld enemy" - and stretched their incredible `all-day' winning sequence since June 2001 to a remarkable 14 games.

The win enabled BAT to transform a six-point overnight deficit into a nine-point lead over Havant at the top.

Havant, who assumed the Division 1 leadership five weeks ago when the early pace caught up on Andover, had few complaints.

"We didn't play well or work as hard as they (BAT) did, although it was encouraging that we fought back at the end and put them under a fair bit of pressure," reflected Havant skipper Dominic Carson.

BAT's work ethic was evident from the start. They applied pressure cricket and, although the score ticked along, gradually created inroads into Havant's top order.

Luke Sears went at 24-1, beaten by a Kirk Stewart inswinger, but the real damage occurred in a 20-minute late morning period, when Havant lost three wickets for 14 runs. Dan Goldstraw (3-35) got two vital breakthroughs.

He had Andy Perry superbly caught off the bottom edge by Dave Banks and then trapped Bev Moynan leg before when the Yorkshireman declined to offer a shot to a ball that nipped back.

When Paul Gover was bizarrely run out, Havant were in some disarray at 56-4. "I was pretty satisfied when we got to lunch at 89-4," said Carson. "And was confident we could go on and get 190 or 200 - a score I felt would have been enough to either win us the game or certainly get a winning draw."

Alas, Havant's best laid plans failed to materialise - largely due to their own making.

"We needed to apply ourselves after lunch, but instead got out to a variety of poor shots," Carson groaned.

Richard Hindley, a frequent match winner with either bat or ball, was the prize BAT most wanted.

The left-hander had batted very sensibly for 47 and appeared set to have a major influence on affairs when, tied down by the left-arm flight of Terry Rawlins, he lost his cool and picked out Goldstraw at mid-on.

Rawlins (3-27) struck twice more, removing Carson (17) and Malcolm Hobson, while spin partner Richard Dibden (2-22) got two more, leaving Phil Loat (18) marooned as Havant slipped to 129 all out.

It didn't take long for BAT to put the pressure back on themselves.

In Hobson's opening over and off only the second ball he faced, Richard Kenway went for an overambitious pull-shot and Perry took a fine running catch at mid-wicket.

When Australian left-hander Michael Watson holed out at 29-2, Havant sensed they were still very much in the match.

But Shirazi, like BAT skipper Dave Banks, desperately wants a second consecutive championship medal in his trophy cabinet - and refused to budge an inch.

The teenager, who yearns for a career on the professional circuit, remained totally focussed, punishing the bad ball and defending the good. Banks (38) chanced his arm and, to some extent, rode his luck.

But his 67-run third-wicket partnership with Shirazi proved absolutely crucial, the pair taking BAT to within sight of the target at 96-3 when Banks was picked up at slip.

His departure prompted a flurry of wickets - Hindley (3-30) forcing Havant firmly back into contention as BAT slipped nervously to 102-6.

But there was no shifting Shirazi, who remained to haunt Havant until the very end.

He lost a seventh partner when Dibden fell leg before, but before Havant got another chance, Rawlins twice breached the boundary rope to give BAT a crucial win - and a nine-point lead in the championship race.