Review of last weekend

Posted by Tony Edwards on 20 June 2019

This past Saturday saw the first team's game vs Rowledge abandoned due to the poor weather so we will go straight into the second XI game.

Sparsholt 2nd XI hosted Ramsdell at Locks Lane. On arrival at the ground the outlook of any match taking place looked slim with showers continuing to come down. Having lost some time due to this the overs were reduced to 39 and the toss took place following a break in the weather. Sparsholt were put in the field and faced an early onslaught from both the clouds and Ramsdells opening batsman Wade scoring a very quick 39. The showers continued for the first hour with one more break for rain meaning Sparsholt were reduced to 37 overs. Following the departure of Wade from a very good catch at long off from Joshua Williams, Sparsholt faced another attack from the Holbrook brothers whom both raced to 50s targetting the short boundary. Sparsholt continued their efforts and after Worth had been dispatched for 2 maximums a change of bowling bought Craig Harrington (3-27) to the crease who claimed the scalp of Sam Holbrook for 57. This brought around the slow and steady downfall of the Ramsdell order taking them to a reduced total of 242-8 from their 39 overs. 

With no more rain incoming and the sun finally shining, Sparsholt started their run chase with Captain Jamie Skeoch and Andy Steggall opening the batting. The pair started slowly facing some good bowling from the Ramsdell openers however the first change bowlers struggled to keep up the same standard and runs started to flow. Some fantastically executed cover drives from Steggall and some dispatches from Skeoch soon found the pair at 50 a piece. Another kick on then came with Steggall knocking a rare six which he insists got caught in the wind. A couple of dropped catches saw Ramsdell heads drop and Sparsholts rise and bought both batsmen close to retrospective centuries. Sure enough both batsmen having looked unbeatable all afternoon soon reached fantastic 100s within minutes of each other. Needing 14 runs from 12 balls Steggall fell for a beautiful 100 and unbelievable 238 run partnership. This brought Stuart Taylor to the crease. A couple of boundaries from Skeoch Sparsholt then required 4 from 5 balls and a nail biting finish. Taylor then effortlessly dispatched a 6 off the next ball to see Sparsholt to an excellent 9 wicket victory.

Sparsholt 3’s travelled to Crown Taverners for a top of table clash with both teams still having 100% recorded at start of play. Sparsholt as usual lost the toss and were put into bat on a wicket with plenty of moisture in it. Andy Pryce and John Ryan opened up to stop allowing the Tavs opening bowlers creating any pressure. They done well with the score 44-0 after the first 10 overs building a good platform to go big later in the innings. However the wicket of Pryce fell in the 12th over for 25 with the 50 partnership falling 2 short. Runs continue to tick along with Thomas Ley coming and going for 8 leaving us on 78-2 after 20 overs at drinks.

Ryan and George Ellis looked to push the score on after the drink break. However 2 overs after drinks two quick wickets fell with Ellis going first and Jack Tucker coming in and straight out leaving us 87-4 from 22. Joel Eastwood then came to the crease with Ryan to rebuild but in the next over Ryan looked for a quick single but was dismissed by a brilliant direct hit from the Tavs fielder. This led to Adam Trivett coming to the crease with Eastwood. Trivett came out and played positively to try and counteract the pressure off the quick wickets that had fallen which worked well with boundaries coming at good rate. With the score on 114 Eastwood was bowled for 10 with a very good delivery just after he had iht a brilliant 6 over mid wicket. Trivett was the next to go for 29 and the score coming along nicely on 158.

The last 5 overs was about trying to get as many runs as possible with 3 wickets left to set a good score to try and defend. Stu Barlow (23) Will Matthews (3) and James Dorward (8) was removed on the final ball of the innings after a fabulous hit for 6 back over the bowlers head and Emily Dodd finishing on 1 not out helped set a target of 187 to win for the Tavs, who gave away 52 extras.

Tavs came out to bat, Dodd and Pryce opening the bowling Sparsholt were able to keep tight in the first 12 overs but not being able to find a break through leaving Tavs on 36-1. Then there was a change in the bowling Dodd finished her spell with 0-23 (6) bowling nice and tight lines making it difficult to score any significant runs. This lead to Dorward coming on at that end picking up a wicket with the last ball of his first over. Pryce bowled his overs out finishing his spell by taking a wicket on his last ball caught at mid- off and finished with 1-20 (8) with both opening bowlers not giving much away. Trivett then came onto bowl with Dorward and by keeping it tight Dorward picked up another wicket caught comfortably by ley in his 4th over. This left them on 70-3 at drinks.

Tavs started to build momentum right up to the 26th when they lost their 4th wicket caught at square leg by Ellis of the bowling of Trivett. Dorward finished a very good spell of Bowling in the 28th over 2-31 (8) and was replaced by Matthews. He came on and got the important wicket of Debhanem who was on 41 in his first over. Ley replaced Trivett at the other end to try and build pressure after that big wicket had fallen. Ley picked up 2 vital wickets to stop Tavs building up any momentum towards their target of 187 however with 4 overs to go Tavs danger man Iyer was still at the crease which led to Trivett coming back on to bowl his final 2 overs replacing Matthews 1-21(4). Tavs needing 31 off the last 4 to win. Trivett bowled tight with his first over of second spell going for 6 and no boundary within it. Ley’s next over then went for 6 too and again no boundary as the pressure mounted with Tavs needing 19 off the last 2. Therefore in the penultimate over in their desperate need for a boundary iyer (31) backed away to try and hit towards the long boundary but was bowled leaving them 17 off the last 9 balls. Trivett 2-42 (8) last 3 balls only went for 1 run leaving them needing 16 of the last over.

Ley 2-22 (6) who had bowled a really impressive and tight spell in a difficult period bowled last over going for just 4 and lead Sparsholt to winning the game by 11 runs.

Sparsholt go down at Lymington but still looking up, as one loyal supporter commented at the end of Sunday’s T20 match at Lymington;

"There was a time when a draw in the T20 against 3rd place in the top division of the Southern League would be a case of damage limitation. We now expect to win.”

So whilst Sparsholt walked off losers in a hard fought match, there is still much to celebrate as they continue to develop as a force in SPCL Division 1. 

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat Sparsholt on a wicket that leveraged less than 100 runs and 20 wickets the day before they were pleased to have walked off with a more than competitive 151 from their 20 overs. David Banks and Sam O’Brien both notched up fifties with Ollie Perrin also contributing some late order runs. Banks was in belligerent mood hitting a series of hard hit boundaries whilst O’Brien dissected the field with fell placed strokes punctuated by some clean striking. 

In response Lymington scored quickly from the off and maintained the required rate throughout with Sparsholt unable to either get a run of wickets or enough consecutive tight overs to create sufficient pressure. Lymington eventually running out deserved winners by seven wickets. 

Next weekend 3rd placed Sparsholt 1s host 2nd placed Portsmouth in a big match at the Norman Edwards Ground that will shape the run in to the second half of the season. While the 2s & 3s look to continue their winning ways playing Hungerford (Away) and Aldershot 5's (Home) respectively


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