Double Centuries secure win for Sparsholt

Posted by Tony Edwards on 9 July 2019

Sparsholt 1s travelled to Sarisbury as the second half of the 2019 cricket season began. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Sparsholt openers looked to make a steady start before Frith was brilliantly caught at first slip by Ricky Rawlins for 16. The returning Archie Norris joined Mike Haworth at the crease and the pair steadied the ship putting on 53 runs but importantly also negated the new ball bowling. However, in the next period wickets fell in quick succession including that of Haworth for what would be a top scoring 49 - this halted any momentum going from 99-3 to 110-6. Liam Doran joined David Banks in the middle to steady the ship and that they did, putting on 54 with some counter attacking batting mixed with watchful defence. A second collapse reduced Sparsholt to 207 all out in the final over.

Captain Rawlins started their reply dominantly, dispatching multiple boundaries in the opening exchanges. Doran would make the first breakthrough with the score on 37 and this would be the only thing Sparsholt had to celebrate for a while as Nightingale joined Rawlins at the crease to put on 89. The pair rotated strike frequently and negated the threat of the spinning ball. As the home side looked to be working their way comfortably to the total Haworth re-entered the attack and dismissed Nightingale with his first ball for a well-made 53 and then struck again in the very same over to apply the pressure on the Sarisbury middle order. However, Rawlins was the anchor and the key wicket which never came and despite Banks and Haworth taking two more wickets, the home side won with 9 balls to spare. Rawlins finished in style, dispatching the ball for 4 to finish off a match winning innings of 101*.

This week Sparsholt 2nd team returned to Locks Lane to face OT's and Romsey 3rd XI. Sparsholt looked to carry momentum from the previous week's victory and put in another solid performance. With the sun beaming down once again captain Jamie Skeoch again won the toss and chose to bat on another solid Sparsholt deck. 

Skeoch and Andy Steggall started proceedings with the bat and were faced with some tight bowling from OT's openers Slade and Evans with runs coming slowly. Steggall found his chance to find the boundary with a loose ball outside off stump however only found the edge of his bat and fell for 3 runs in the 5th over. This bought Tom Foster to the crease, who settled in very quickly at the crease and soon Skeoch and Foster were in the groove. With the openers off OT's couldn't continue their tight lines and soon runs began to come thick and fast.

At the halfway point Sparsholt were 144 for 1 and only ten overs later they found themselves 236 for 1 going at almost ten an over. Skeoch and Foster both soon found themselves on unbeaten centuries and the score continued to rocket. With ten overs to go the pair continued to up the rate and Foster soon made 150 however fell soon after for a career best 163. Skeoch soon followed for a fantastic 147 bringing an end to an unbelievable partnership of 319. Chris Mitchell and Sam Cook continued the onslaught for the last 4 overs both finishing unbeaten Mitchell 10* and Cook a destructive 28* with the years high score of 369-3 from their 45 overs.

After teas the Romsey retaliation came at Sparsholt in search of the monstrous score they had to chase with Poolman and Evans easily finding the boundary and dangerously firing at 10 and over. After scoring 75 from the first 7 overs Foster (4-0-39-1) struck and claimed Poolman caught and bowled for 40 from 13 scoring shots. This bought about another onslaught from Edwards who continued where his team-mate left off. A bowling change saw overseas Sam Cook (6-0-28-1) and over-aged Jon Sankey (9-0-67-3) into the attack who managed to steady the rate. Cook bowling some fierce and well-placed bouncers soon found the top edge of Evans' bat who sent the ball high which wicket-keeper Greg Whiting made the ground and took a great catch. 

Not long later Edwards, who was still searching for the boundary, soon found the hands of Skeoch off of Sankey and bought an end to the attack. Sankey then claimed another wicket next ball leaving Romsey on 132 for 4. From here runs were harder to come by with some excellent Sparsholt bowling and fielding heaping pressure along with the scoreboard. 

The 3rd team captain Adam Trivett (4-1-13-4) came into the attack and with some tantalising flight and guile; he soon bought around the beginning of the end for Romsey. He claimed three wickets in his second over, one kissing the top of off stump, one caught behind and one LBW. He soon claimed another finishing with a fantastic 4 wicket haul. Thomas Ley (5.4-1-14-1) returning to the second team bowled an excellent line and length and also deservedly got in on the action claiming the final wicket which left OT's 198 all out giving Sparsholt a crushing 171 run victory.

Unfortunately Petersfield 3’s conceded their fixture against Sparsholt 3’s as they were unable to raise a team. 

This week, the first team are on the road again as they travel along the A303 to Andover, while the second and third teams host Oakley and Tichborne Park 3’s at the Norman Edwards Ground and North Walls respectively. 

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