Double win for the trees to start off 2018.

Posted by Tony Edwards on 27 February 2018

As February comes to an end, so does the Winchester & District Indoor Cricket League and Knockout competitions, with Sparsholt not only winning Division 1 unbeaten, but also winning the Knockout trophy in emphatic style.

Over the winter months, players from across the Winchester District have been descending to River Park Leisure Centre on Sunday evenings to do battle in a 12 over a side format of the game, where if you blink at the wrong moment you can miss so much.

Sparsholt, who were the Division 2 champions in 2016/17 started their hunt for Division 1 silverware against Longparish in what was a low scoring game with plenty of extras going against both sides, and also a number of run outs during Sparsholt’s 12 overs of batting. This was a regular occurrence during this campaign and on the whole, it was the Sparsholt bowlers that ensured victory time and again against our league opponents.

In the cup, Sparsholt had played using the same strategy as in the league and with wins against Owslebury and Easton and Martyr Worthy 3, we met Easton & Martyr Worthy’s first team in the semi-final on 25th February, where the winner would play the very next game in the final. Sparsholt elected to bat first and the runs didn’t seem to come easily to the Sparsholt batsmen. Mike Haworth scored a decent 23 but at the end of the 10th over Sparsholt were on 76 runs, but with Easton’s Ben Stanbrook getting smashed for 31 runs from his final over, taking David Banks up to 51 not out – Sparsholt were able to score a respectable 123-4.

Easton’s reply started strongly with Sam Dickety retiring early, but when the first wicket fell, so did their run rate, with Dickety (32) and Adam Kite (21) being the pick of the Easton batsmen – they were all out 23 runs short of the target with the last two wickets falling from the last two balls of their innings.

This win took Sparsholt on to the final against a Compton & Chandlers Ford side who had beaten Longparish in the other semi-final. Sparsholt again elected to bat first and openers Chris Mitchell & Nick Doubell took to the crease. A steady first over led to Mitchell being run out in the second, but the run rate remained steady until the loss of Haworth when it took a dip. However, quick fire runs including an outstanding 6 from Greg Whiting left Sparsholt at 93-4. Nick Doubell top scoring with 39 not out and David Banks taking the back seat with an unbeaten 8 meant that Sparsholt finished their final innings on 124-4.

Compton’s reply took a huge blow in the first over, when Andy Gorty was clean bowled from the final ball of David Bank’s over. From here Sparsholt were comprehensive on their bowling, allowing their opposition to score 1 run here and 1 run there during the opening few overs, while taking a wicket here and there also. At the end of the fifth over Compton stood on 45-3 and at one point looked like they could reach the 125 target when Doubell’s second over went for 17. But he was able to pull that back in his final over taking the last two wickets to ensure the win for the trees, with Compton finishing on 93-6.

Captain and Club Groundsman David Banks, managed to score over 200 runs during the indoor season, while youngster Nick Doubell took the highest number wickets with 11. But when it is all said and done; Cricket is a team sport and while individual contributions can win a game – to go a season unbeaten in both league and cup is extraordinary and relies on people working together in harmony and with positivity, something that Sparsholt were hopeful of achieving in light of their new sponsor Rising Vibe (www.rising-vibe.com).

Sparsholt rose to the occasion indoor – but now it is all about preparation for the coming summer season. Should you be interested in playing or volunteering, Sparsholt Cricket Club are always on the lookout for new members. For more information please go to: http://www.sparsholtcc.co.uk or email info@sparsholtcc.co.uk  

Top: Tony Edwards (Scorer), Dan Weir, Nick Doubell, Greg Whiting, Mike Haworth

Bottom: Chris Mitchell, David Banks (Captain)

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