Four Wins in a row for the Trees

Posted by Tony Edwards on 12 June 2017

Sparsholt’s first team chalked up their fourth consecutive league win with a hard earned 5 wicket win at Hambledon.

Having lost the toss and found themselves bowling first Sparsholt kept things tight up front although it wasn’t until the 19th and 20th overs that the Locks Lane club managed to start taking wickets. Haworth and Banks picking up the wickets of Marshall and Bond respectively. At 59 for 2 off 20 overs the introduction of Nick Doubell and Jeremy Frith tightened the run squeeze further and Hambledon crawled along 2 runs per over until a spurt at the end saw them creep up to 158 for 7 from their 50 overs. Wickets were shared around between Foster, Haworth, Banks, Frith and Doubell.

In reply Sparsholt got off to a poor start losing Haworth, Tognarelli, Skeoch, Mitchell and Foster before the score had reached 40. However, Sam Kennett and David Banks came together to produce a match winning partnership of 125. With a lot of variable bounce both players played watchfully, taking runs when they were offered and blunting the remainder of Hambledon’s Rupert Hetherington who had picked up 4 wickets, finishing with fine figures of 4-12.

With the change in bowling came more opportunities to score and both players pounced on anything lose, although some of their best shots were saved for defence in dealing with balls staying perilously low or jamming their fingers on the bat. Towards the end of the innings Kennett in particularly unleased some fine shots, a straight six over long on the pick of them. In the end Sparsholt cruised home quite comfortably however it was never easy. Banks finishing undefeated on 49 and Kennett not out on 65.

Whilst definitely not a game to bring crowds flooding through the gate, it was another solid performance that means Sparsholt now sit second in the table with 4 wins from their 5 completed games, with the undefeated Totton occupying first place.

 

Sparsholt second team hosted Liphook and Ripsley’s respective second team at Locks Lane on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to imminent exams a number of key players were unavailable and Sparsholt took the field with 10 men.

Sparsholt were asked to field and the opening attack of 6ft 7 Will Putt and the not quite so tall Andy Pryce looked to work over the Liphook batsmen. Putt bowled with pace and had Oliver caught at mid-on in the 5th over. Pryce continued to bowl economically as the experienced Sankey joined the attack. Liphook scored consistently on a very good wicket which offered little to the bowlers. With the score on 160 for 2 from 30 overs Sankey finally got his reward. Whiting then picked up 3 quick wickets and 13-year-old Harry Worth on debut picked up a wicket caught behind as Liphook amassed a competitive 251 for 7 from their 45 overs.

In reply Sparsholt quickly set about the bowling with regular boundaries before Andy Worth holed out at cover. Andy Steggall continued his recent run of form with an array of classy shots reminiscent of other ageing left handlers of a bygone era. Pryce batting at 3 hit a couple of lusty blows before holeing out to mid-on. Sankey with his trademark swagger joined Steggall and played with maturity to match his age as he stroked the ball to the boundary. Stegall was finally out LBW suffering from a pulled hamstring for 59. Druce quickly followed which brought Simon Herridge to the crease. With the field brought in for the new batsman, Herridge promptly dispatched the bowling with two 4's and a 6.

Sankey fell for 23 and Whiting for 5 as the run rate never crept too high, Sparsholt were always in with a chance. Putt hit the ball hard including a big six into the pavilion. Herridge holed out for 35 as Harry Worth joined Putt. Worth managed to work the ball around to get Putt on strike and keep Sparsholt in the game. Worth was run out trying to give Putt the strike bringing Mark Stone as last man to the wicket. Stone (25) showed he hadn't completely forgotten how to bat by hitting a four and then a straight six to reduce the target to 235. With 16 needed from the last over Putt (30) was run out leaving the 10 men of Sparsholt tantalisingly close to the total.

 

After a low scoring game the week before Sparsholt’s third team were looking to bounce back with a win against in form St Mary's at North Walls. Sparsholt lost the toss again and were put in to bat, hoping for a better performance than the week before.

Things looked good with Sparsholt 18-0 with Keith Whiting and George Ellis looking steady at the crease. However, the wicket of Ellis fell which resulted in losing 6 quick wickets for just 5 runs which brought Adam Trivett and David Bannister to the crease needing a miracle to get back into the game at 23-6.

Some steady batting from Trivett and Bannister got Sparsholt up to 42-6 until Trivett chipped the ball straight down cover’s throat after looking so comfortable at the crease. Shortly after Bannister who also looked comfortable at the crease got out to the left arm spin of D Vickery who went on to have figures of 4-2-5-3 as he removed the last 2 Sparsholt batsmen including a spectacular catch being taken by the fielder at mid-wicket from Barlow's cracking shot as everyone looked shocked it had been taken. This left Emily Dodd on 2 not out and Sparsholt being all out for just 48 and needing a miracle once again.

Sparsholt came out to bowl with Dodd and Trivett knowing full well how difficult the task would be. Sparsholt’s low score allowed the St Mary's opening batsmen to come out and play freely with Minwin being 32 not out including a massive six over long on and Lee being 19 not out. St Mary's chased the total down in just 7 overs finishing their innings on 51-0 and winning the game by 10 wickets.

 

Next week Sparsholt’s first team face local rivals St Cross Symondians’ second team away at St Cross, while Sparsholt’s second team host Whitchurch at the Norman Edwards Ground and there is no fixture for the third team this week. Then on Sunday, Sparsholt will welcoming Bournemouth to the Norman Edwards Ground as they battle it out in the first round of the Southern Premier League T20 knockout tournament. 

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