Double Win for the Trees

Posted by Tony Edwards on 21 August 2017

With the season entering its final weeks local rivals St Cross made the long journey to Sparsholt for a mid-table clash. St Cross without opener Laney won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch which looked ideal for batting, a big total looked on the cards. However, Sparsholt got off to a good start, restricting the run rate whilst also taking wickets at reasonably regular intervals. 2 wickets from Mike Haworth and 1 from David Banks reduced the away side to 41-3 which brought Dan Youngs and Harry Foyle to the crease which proved to be a key partnership in the St Cross innings with them putting on 109 during the middle period of the game, showing great control and strike rotation against spinners Frith and Doubell. With a solid platform set for a big push towards a score in excess of 225, the two set batsmen were dismissed in the same over (including a miraculous run out from ex-skipper Worth) halted St Cross’s progress and with the new batsmen not having an abundance of time to play themselves in the batting team finished on a substantially under par 190-7 from their 50 overs.

Sparsholt got off to a very positive start in response with the opening pair of Frith and Haworth putting on 38 from the first 5 overs before Frith was dismissed off of the bowling of Foyle. This brought Rory Betley to the areas who looked to be positive, however this was short lived, playing one shot too many to top edge one to point, again off the bowling of Foyle. St cross looked to capitalise on this pressure, however Banks and Haworth steadied the ship putting on 108, including some high positive ball striking from Banks to put the hosts in a commanding position. However, with 27 required Banks fell for a well-made 55 which brought Sam Kennett to the crease to knock off the remaining runs in the 44th over with Haworth carrying his bat for an attritional unbeaten 75.

The final game of the Sparsholt II XI season saw them away to AWE Tadley. On a questionable looking deck stand in skipper Greg Whiting won the crucial toss and elected to bowl. Two great opening spells from Andy Pryce (10-6-3) and Haida Ali (10-36-3) saw the hosts lose early wickets and fall to 11-5 in the first 10 overs. A quick fight back from the hosts Kiani (29) saw the score race to 43. First change saw a wicket in the over from Greg Whiting (1-3-1) and some interesting running between the wickets resulted in 2 run outs leaving the hosts all out for 49.

Having decided to take tea after there was a quick turn around with Andy Steggall (13*) and Jonny Druce (7) opening the batting. Looking comfortable Sparsholt quickly lost 2 wickets bringing Si Herridge to the crease. A quick fire (26*) saw Sparsholt to a comfortable 7 wicket victory.

Next week, Sparsholt’s first and third teams are in action – both away from home with the first team travelling west to South Wilts for their penultimate fixture, while the third team head north up the M3 to Crown Taverners for their final game of the 2017 season.

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