2 Run-fests and 3 Huge Wins for the Trees.

Posted by Tony Edwards on 11 June 2018

Sparsholt travelled to Paultons and despite some clouds overhead the home side decided to bat first. This was a decision which was quickly regretted as the first wicket fell in just the second over off the bowling of Haworth who also removed the other opener with the score on just 15. This would prove to be the start of a highly effective opening spell of bowling as Banks proceeded to find the stumps on 3 different occasions to reduce the home side to 25-5. The opening onslaught continued with both Banks and Haworth both bowling 4 maidens each during their spell and with that created pressure which lead to the loss of the sixth wicket, again off the bowling of Banks. The score was 37-6 at the end of the 20th over. With the change of bowling also came a change in approach from the remaining Paultons batsmen in an attempt to get their team to a score they could bowl at, they began to try and find the boundary with some success. However, Lewis Mitchard and Dan Weir ensured they continued to lose wickets in regular intervals meaning that the home side finished on a disappointing 81 all out from just 28 overs. (David Banks 10 overs 4-12, Lewis Mitchard 4 overs 3-20, Michael Haworth 10 overs 2-25)

Some rain began to fall during the interval and Sparsholt used the slightly extended break to promote power hitter Stuart Taylor up the order to open with Haworth. This was a move which paid dividends as both openers hit a flurry of boundaries and made light work of the run chase, with Taylor hitting the winning runs in just the 14th over. (Stuart Taylor 43 not out, Michael Haworth 36 not out).

Sparsholt’s second team hosted Whiteparish at Locks Lane on Saturday and the visiting captain won the toss and put Sparsholt into bat. Following a cautious start from Steggall and Skeoch, both batsman found their rhythm. The pair put on 138 for the first wicket with Skeoch reaching his 50 off 49 balls and Stegall off 41 balls. Stegall fell in the 31st over for a fine 52. Skeoch was joined by Mitchell as the pair looked to increase the run rate. An array of boundaries followed with Mitchell hitting a six and then scoring a five the very next ball thanks to some overthrows as he reached 50 in 32 balls. At the other end Skeoch launched a brutal attack on the Whiteparish bowlers reaching his century and going to finish unbeaten on 151. Mitchell holed out for 54 in the penultimate over bringing Worth to the crease who scored a couple as the Sparsholt innings finished on 263 for 2.

The Whiteparish batsman were immediately under pressure as the pace of Ndowra once again shone through. As the batsman played and missed Ndowra clean bowled Hammett in his 3rd over, Stone bowled consistently at the other end and picked up the number 3 clean bowled. At 31 for 2 bowling changes brought Williams and Doubell on to bowl. Williams picked a wicket in his first over to a fine catch behind the stumps from Mitchell. The introduction of Doubell proved a master stroke by captain Skeoch as Doubell ripped through the Whiteparish middle order taking 7 for 20 as Whiteparish were all out for 80.

In the 3’s, their pursuit of a first win continued as they took to the road for the long journey to Aldershot. Sparsholt won the toss and elected to bat on what was a very hard wicket which looked good to score runs on. Rob Matthews and George Ellis opened the batting with Rob falling early for just 5. With that Jonny Druce arrived at the wicket in his first game for Sparsholt since returning from uni. Jonny and George settled in nicely and hit boundaries on a consistent basis. Druce brought up his 50 in the 12th over with Ellis bringing his 50 up at the point of drink with Druce being on 99 and everyone refusing to give him a hint of what he was on. However, first ball after drinks Druce knocked a single to bring up an excellent and well deserved 100. Ellis then fall on 87 and ended a partnership of 249 runs. Patterson came and went for 1 in trying to play a different style of play that he’s used too. Druce fall soon after for well-earned 140. This led to Hartley and Trivett being at the crease trying to smack the ball everywhere to try and increase the total as much as possible. Hartley went for 13 which brought Stuart Barlow to the crease. Trivett managed to scrap his way to 19 before being caught behind. Which left Stuart Barlow to smash a quick fire 27 for the 3’s to finish on 343-6.

Trivett and Hartley opened the bowling with the openers coming out to smash everything to the boundary. With the bowlers bowling well and keeping it tight under the circumstances Trivett bowled the first opener for just 4. Hartley bowled a short spell of 4-0-30-0 with Will Matthews replacing him. Trivett then picked up another wicket this time the other opener for 36 and finished with figures of 8-1-50-2. Ellis followed Trivett after his spell. Matthews finished his first spell 5-0-26-1 and Ellis 5-0-25-1. Druce at the other end taking a wicket with a spell of 4-0–43-1. Matthews senior came onto bowl after Ellis and after a good first over Aldershot Bromley looked to attack after just reaching his hundred and smacked 27 of the over leaving him with figures of 2-0-36-0. Bailey at the other end had a short spell of 2-0-19-0. The score was then set at 228-5 off 29 overs needing 116 of 66 balls. Getting Bromley out was the key to winning the game. This led to Will Matthews coming back on to bowl his final 3 overs and Martin Patterson at the other end to try and keep the score down. Matthews and Patterson both bowled a great first over each just going for 11 on both including a spectacular run out from keeper Will Selley with a bullet arm at the stumps. Then came the big moment when Bromley smacked the ball in the air off Matthews and was caught comfortably by Bailey for 143 a big moment in the game. Matthew then continued to keep it tight 8-0-40-2 and Patterson cleaned up the tail 2.1-0-12-2 to bowl Aldershot out for 265.

An entertaining game and a first win for the 3’s which was well deserved and with all 3 teams winning this weekend - the vibe at Sparsholt is Rising, and we hope that it will continue as Sparsholt’s first and third teams are playing host this weekend with games against Tichborne Park and Ramsdell II respectively, while the second team head to the New Forest for a game against Burley. Then on Sunday, Sparsholt begin their T20 campaign welcoming Havant to the Norman Edwards Ground.

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