First win and a first loss of the season for the trees

Posted by Tony Edwards on 23 May 2018

The sun shone on Locks Lane as the home team won the toss and decided to bat on what again looked to be a fantastic wicket. The innings did not get off to a good start losing opener Mike Haworth in the second over. Frith and O’Brien rebuilt and capitalised on the restricted field with a flurry of boundaries meaning the run rate was not an issue. In spite of losing both Frith (11) and O’Brien (39) the runs continued to pile on with Banks (33) and Kennett (40) keeping the run rate ticking over. Nick Doubell anchored the innings well with a very well made 59 which set the platform for Stuart Taylor to come in with 8 overs to go and strike the ball cleanly to all parts of the ground scoring 40 off of just 20 balls. Sparsholt finished on 272 for 8.

The visitors reply also did not start as planned, losing 2 quick wickets reducing them to 2-2 off 4 overs. Further tight bowling followed up by excellent fielding meant Waterlooville had reach just 19-2 off of 10 overs, the run rate was quickly rising but a positive partnership followed taking the score to 81 when the third wicket fell. The fourth wicket fell soon after and the tight overs that followed meant the run rate was almost unsurpassable. Now with both teams chasing as many points as possible, some highly attacking fields meant runs were leaking in the pursuit of the remaining wickets which came in regular intervals spearheaded by Lewis Mitchard who took 5-44.  The other wickets went to Banks and Haworth who both took 1 in their opening spell, and Doubell who took 2 in the middle overs to complete a very positive day for him.

After 3 consecutive home games, Sparsholt will have to travel for the first time this season next week against Langley Manor where they will be looking to carry on the momentum from this 22-point victory.

Sparsholt 2nds travelled to Paultons on Saturday and we’re put into field. Paultons openers once they had settled quickly set about the bowling. Stevenson hit 7 fours in his 41 before being superbly run out by Joshua Williams with the score on 77. The introduction of veteran Andy Pryce bowling big in swingers caused all the batsmen problems as Sparsholt started making inroads into the Paultons batting. Pryce took 3 wickets in two overs as Paultons slipped to 99 for 4. S Dawes Paultons overseas from years ago looked assured as scored 20 before being run out again to some fine fielding from Joshua Williams. Sankey bowled a fine spell on his return without success.  Stone bowled opener Phillips in the 45th over for a well-constructed 65 which held the Paultons innings together. Paultons finally ended on 192 for 8 with Pryce the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 22, Ndowora 1 for 44, Stone 1 for 23 and Doubell 1 for 39 were the other wicket takers.

Sparsholt reply started with a rush of blood from Steggall who was stumped in the first over. Skeoch and Sankey set about consolidating before Skeoch fell LBW with the score on 17. Mitchell joined Sankey, and both pushed the score along before Sankey fell LBW for a fine 32. Worth joined Mitchell and following an exquisite cover drive pulled his calf and had to limp off. Williams supported Mitchell with some good running before being caught. Doubell hit a big six and pushed the score up to 128. Mitchell was finally caught for 62 trying to up the run rate. Doubell followed soon after caught and bowled for 11. Worth returned with a runner and was bowled leaving Sparsholt requiring 63 from 9 overs with 3 wickets remaining. Ndowora fell for 8 as the Sparsholt innings finished on 146 as stone and Lockyer both fell for ducks, Pryce was left not out on 8. The pick of the Paultons bowlers was the previous first team overseas player S Dawes who took 2 for 2 and didn’t concede a run until his 7th over.

Sparsholt’s third XI visited Oakmount in what turned out to be a disaster afternoon for the visitors, batting first and losing wickets quickly meant that Sparsholt were all out for 44 runs, with newcomer Stewart Henderson and young Will Matthews being the pick of the batsmen and John Wilton taking 6 wickets from his spell. 

Oakmount reached the target in around 20 overs and only lost a wicket. Captain Adam Trivett is hoping that he can get his team winning in the early stages of the season, starting this coming weekend when the third team visit Bentworth.

Moving to Sunday Cricket. Sparsholt won the toss and elected to bat losing 3 quick wickets before the higher order had woken (or perhaps that should read sobered) up. Opening bat Patterson clung on for dear life with an attritional rearguard of 30-odd that was strictly for afficionados of such fare. He was supported by Greg Whiting (20-odd) and James Lander before Sam Rachman weighed in with some 'long handle' at no. 11.

147 never seemed likely to be enough but when Stuey 'WG' Taylor tore through the opposition's top order with 5 for 20 the match was there for the taking. Perhaps distracted by the idyllic surroundings of bucolic Longparish as it basked in early evening sunshine, Sparsholt lost focus, Patterson conceded a bucket load of byes (despite a backstop) and the Longparish tail 'wagged'. They sneaked home by 2 wkts.

The fines committee sat immediately after play to consider the cases of anyone caught taking themselves too seriously - the ultimate Sunday heresy. Stuey 'WG' Taylor was in the frame - until that is he 'lit up" during the drinks break. He took the Sparsholt Man of the Match award for his '5 for' and was presented with an ill fitting stripey club blazer.  A garment that did not make him look any less like the Great Man..

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