Saturday triumphs and a Sunday KO for Sparsholt

Posted by Tony Edwards on 22 June 2018

Sparsholt batted first on what looked to be another fantastic track, but with a mixed forecast it was unsure how the afternoon would pan out. Sparsholt got off to a good start in spite of some good bowling by the openers however the wicket of Haworth was first to fall when he found the deep square leg fielder with the score on 89. This brought Sam O’Brien to the crease whose luck did not improve after being given out LBW after what looked to be a settled start. A period of rebuilding followed with spin entering the attack allowing the ball to be worked around but was ultimately the undoing of Banks as he was caught at Long Off. However the partnership that followed would prove to be match defining as Lewis Mitchard added both stability and impetus into the innings. Frith fell for a well made 85, carrying on his recent run of form. However, Mitchard continued to anchor the innings and allowed Doubell to score a well made 20 around him. However Sparsholt did lack some intent in the final period of the game meaning they were slightly short of what was expected with the final score being 261. 

Tichborne Park began well with Tom Allam taking the attack to the Sparsholt bowlers with a flurry of early boundaries. However wickets fell regularly at the other end with Haworth taking the first followed by Sparsholt famous spin trio. Allam continued to be the pain in Sparsholt’s side as he passed 50 and moved towards his second hundred of the year. There was little that could be done as a barrage of sixes followed taking him past 100 and through to the 120s. However in a pivotal moment in the game he was caught excellently by Alex Thornton off the bowling of Dan Weir. Although the remaining batsmen did well to stay in the contest, ultimately it was not to be as they ran out of time with them 9 down. Bowling highlight included a magnificent spell of bowling by Liam Doran who took 3 wickets in the middle overs

Sparsholt’s second team took a trip to the New Forest to face Burley. Following on from a thumping victory the previous week, hopes were high for another in the Sparsholt camp. On an overcast day captain Jamie Skeoch won the toss and thought that conditions were suited to the Sparsholt bowling attack. Opening bowler Tim Ndowora was mostly unplayable in his first spell sending the ball whizzing past the batsmen’s heads but was unlucky not to take a wicket and ended up going for 42 in his 8 overs. Other opener Tom Procter bowled well on his return from university and claimed the wicket of opening bat A Wright for a well-made 44 and he finished with a return of 1-23 from 7 overs. Returning after a 3 year absence Tim Vokes came on along with Josh Williams and were rewarded with a wicket a piece. Vokes 1-19 from 9 overs and Williams 1-28 from his 6.  Bringing on spinners Mike Doubell (1-30) and Mark Stone (1-38) Burley saw their chance to attack and kicked on scoring a flurry of runs in the last 10 overs and finished on 186-5.

Continuing on from his 151* the previous weekend skipper Skeoch opened the batting with Andy Worth. Skeoch continued the level of ball striking he had shown beforehand and hit the first over for 14 runs. However he was unlucky to be caught and bowled by J Brown sticking a hopeful hand out at a crunched drive for 16. Worth unfortunately soon followed suit and was also caught for 6. This brought in Vokes batting with Chris Mitchell. Mitchell found the boundary easily however was soon bowled for 17 by Doick. Vokes and Williams kept the board ticking and continued Sparsholt’s pursuit of victory. Williams soon fell for a well-made 19. Bringing Procter to the crease he continued his run scoring form from the previous year and again, along with Vokes, scored sensibly and carried on where Williams had left off. He soon fell and gave W Tucker his second wicket of the day. Greg Whiting came in with the score on 125-5 and decided on a game plan with Vokes to see the trees home. With the field pushed back to protect the boundary Vokes and Whiting took the offered singles and dispatched the bad balls edging the score ever closer to the target. A change in bowling saw Vokes take advantage and smash 14 runs in the over and guided him easily to the 50 mark. Continuing the sensible play Whiting and Vokes saw Sparsholt home to a 6 wicket victory. Tim Vokes finished on a fantastically made 67* and Whiting on 18*.

Sparsholt’s third team hosted Ramsdell 2 at North Walls and were unfortunate not to come away with a win. Sparsholt scoring 144-8 in their innings and Ramsdell reaching the target with less than 2 overs to spare with John Munday (47) and Dave Monger (72) being the pick of the batsmen the latter of which was dropped by the Sparsholt fielders seven times.

Sunday’s fixture brought T20 action to the Norman Edwards Ground, on a wicket that yielded in excess of 500 runs the previous day, Sparsholt will have been content with their performance in the field having restricted Havant to 165 in their 20 overs. Having won the toss and chosen to field Sparsholt were under pressure during the power player overs as Havant reached 59 with Ransley being particularly clinical in putting away any loose balls, before Liam Doran bowled Hopson (21). 

That began a Sparsholt fightback as the Div 2 club began to claw back the run rate, although without taking wickets. Ransley (89) from 60 balls, continued to find the ropes but Sparsholt had picked up more dot balls and restricted Havant to mainly singles for a significant portion of the middle overs. Havant eventually closing on 165 for 4. Liam Doran being the pick of the bowlers with his 4 overs going for just 16 runs. 

Having chased 223 against Sarisbury last year in 18.3 overs, Sparsholt would gave fancied their chances particularly as Chris Stone’s opening over went for 11 runs however a succession of quick wickets put Sparsholt straight under pressure and at 36 for 6 the game was pretty much gone with Havant showing the difference between Premier and Division 2 cricket. Sparsholt will have seen this as being a great opportunity to test themselves as their improving league forms continues. The Rising Vibe sponsored team now go in to the plate competition in which they were the 2016 runners up.

This weekend finds Sparsholt’s first and third teams on the road as they visit Basingstoke and North Hants II and Easton & Martyr Worthy III respectively; while the second team welcome Amesbury to the Norman Edwards ground.

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