Mixed Fortunes for the Trees

Posted by Tony Edwards on 10 July 2017

In the league, Sparsholt's first team to travelled to Hartley Wintney where they lost the toss and found themselves bowling first. Despite David Banks picking up an early wicket Sparsholt found themselves up against it as Collier (146) and Plume (58) piled on 150 for the second wicket as a depleted Sparsholt bowling line up struggled to stem the run flow. Collier in particular punished any wayward deliveries, capitalising on a good wicket, rapid outfield and small straight boundaries. Hartley Wintney closed on 296 for 8 with a late surge from Batcup who struck 29 from 14 deliveries. for Sparsholt Jeremy Frith and David Banks got through their 10 overs for 34 a piece and Nick Doubell picked 3 for 70. 

There had been one or two interesting decisions through the Hartley Wintney innings, none of which proved costly. However, Sparsholt received some equally interesting decisions early in their response that soon put pay to any hopes Sparsholt might have had of challenging an imposing total. Frith had started brightly stroking a handful of boundaries however when he finally went to Baldwin Sparsholt were 65 3 and eventually 97 all out as they lost 8 for 32. Baldwin picking up 7 for 18. 

Sparsholt now go in to their final 8 games of the season, 5 of which are at home, needing to string a winning run together if they are to challenge for promotion. 

Sparsholt 3's went to Oakmount this Saturday in a mid table clash. Sparsholt won the toss on a very hot day and choose to bowl on a very green wicket looking to build on their victory last week over Hartley Wintney.

Oakmount came out to bat and scored some early boundaries to get the score rolling. Dorward and Dodd picked up a wicket each in their opening spell. More wickets could've fallen within the first 21 overs but Sparsholt failed to take their chances as oakmount reached 76-3 at the halfway point with 7 overs to go oakmount looked well on for 200 as they were 164-4 after 35 overs. However with tight bowling from Dodd at one end meant Dorward could clean up the tail and oakmount fall short of 200 and finished on 187-9 with Dorward picking up 5-37 from his 10 overs.

Sparsholt came out to bat with steadiness and was 42-0 at drinks however the wickets of bannister and Matthews fell and with Whiting retiring on 46 not out with Sparsholt 71-2 meant a big struggle to go on to win the game. Wickets fell in quick succession and result being bowled out for 92 falling way short of the target

Sunday saw one of the highest scoring T20 matches ever seen at the Norman Edwards Ground when Sparsholt hosted Sarisbury Athletic. On a sultry day, a dry flat wicket and a parched outfield, runs were always likely however just how many probably surprised everyone.

Sparsholt won the toss and decided to field and at the half-way point with Sarisbury having posted 210 for 4 in just 20 overs it could have been said it was the wrong choice. For Sarisbury Ricky Rawlins was the stand out performer with 97 from just 59 deliveries, being ably supported by Sole, Journeaux, Hill and Floyd who made important contributions at faster than a run a ball. For Sparsholt all of the bowlers stuck to their task in challenging conditions, supported by some committed fielding.

However, with 211 required at 10.55 runs per over the story was really only just beginning. Wright opened the bowling for Sarisbury and with the first three deliveries being dot balls it all seemed stacked against Sparsholt. However, a combination of 5 wides, a six and four being struck in the remainder of the over Sparsholt were off to a flyer with 15 off the first over. From that point Sparsholt never took their foot off the gas. Despite Kennett falling early, Skeoch and Jenner both came in and scored quickly regularly finding the boundary. Frith looked in good touch and to be the main thorn in Sarisbury's side until he was brilliantly caught at deep square leg by Journeaux with the score on 99 in the 9th over. 

However, that proved to be the last wicket and only succeeded in bringing together David Banks and Chris Mitchell. In the following 9 overs, the duo put on an unbroken stand of 117 in just 9 overs Banks smashing 81 of just 34 deliveries including 7 sixes, with 28 off one Rawlins over. Mitchell supported well with two sixes of his own in a steady run a ball 26. 

The final 10 runs came courtesy of 5 no balls and a subsequent free hit that Banks sent wide and high over long on to complete one of the most remarkable matches that the Norman Edwards Ground has seen. Sparsholt winning with an even incredible 2 overs to spare. Banks' own individual performance goes alongside a growing number of memorable innings that the all-rounder has chalked up in his brief time with the club. 

By the time the final blow landed the game, played in a great spirit throughout, had seen 35 fours, 21 sixes and 426 runs in 38 overs at 11.26 runs per over. As the sun set at Sparsholt with both sets of supporters and players enjoying mixing after the game, the clubs had shown the very best of what amateur cricket in Hampshire has to offer. 

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