Wind and rain affect results for Sparsholt’s teams.

Posted by Tony Edwards on 7 August 2017

David Banks took 2 wickets and a stumping, while Nick Doubell picked up four-wickets as Sparsholt successfully defended 140 against Romsey, which was patiently set up by opener, Jeremy Frith.

After a delayed start due to rain, the game was reduced to 45 overs per side. The ground did not endorse good cricket as a soft slow and low wicket was compounded by disproportionate boundaries and a slow outfield. 

Having lost the toss, and consequently put in to bat, Sparsholt were kept frustrated by the bowler’s line and the wicket’s lack of pace. At 35-3, Romsey would have been hoping to dismiss Sparsholt for double-figures, however, a slow but crucial 56-run partnership between Frith (31) and Kennett (21) built the platform for the lower order hitters, in particular Doubell (22*), to give late impetus to the innings. Mogg, Newman and Bampton finished with 2 wickets a piece, as Sparsholt reached 140-7 after 45 overs.

In response, Romsey were restricted to 2-1 in the third over. Much like every batsman that came to the wicket from both sides, the Romsey top order struggled to time the ball. These struggles were exploited by Banks who bowled 9 overs, 2-10, and Haworth. Woodhall, who had had 5 partners over his 28-run innings, fought hard but was eventually dismissed by Frith. 18 of the final 20 overs of the Romsey innings were bowled by spin. Doubell and Frith, in tandem, put the brakes on the Romsey chase until Welch, almost single-handedly, put the accelerators back on to leave them needing 5 runs off 8 balls with two wickets remaining. Haworth was deposited over the short deep-midwicket boundary twice in successive deliveries, before, bravely bowling a slower ball, which deceived Welch and bowled him for an enterprising 34.

Needing 6 from as many balls, off-spinner, Doubell, bowled 4 balls for 1 run. The penultimate ball of the 45th over spun past the advancing Bampton and was duly stumped by Banks, who had put the keeping gloves on after his opening spell was completed. Romsey fell 4 runs short of Sparsholt’s 140, in an entertaining but frustrating day of cricket for both sides.

Sparsholt 2nds hosted Old Basing 2nds on Saturday with the visitors opting to bat first. Haidar Ali (1 for 16) and Andy Pryce (1 for 40) opened the bowling in somewhat blustery conditions following some early morning storms. Ali picked up the first wicket with his consistent wicket to wicket delivery with an LBW and Pryce accounted for the other opener with a great one-handed catch from Si Herridge at square leg. Jackson (50) and Eckersley (70) batted solidly for Old Basing laying a platform for later batsmen to go after the ball finishing with 240 for 7 off their allotted 45 overs with Dan Pickering (2 for 53) and David Waters (2 for 67) the other wicket takers.

Sparsholt’s reply struggled with openers Waters and Stegall falling for single figures and skipper Gough bowled for 6. At 26 for 3 Worth (35) and Druce (21) tried to build a partnership with singles and boundaries before Druce was run out with the score on 69. Worth tried to up the run rate but was caught at mid-off as Sparsholt were reduced to 84 for 6. Pryce (20), Patterson (10) and Ali (14no) put up some resistance as Sparsholt were eventually bowled out for 142.

Adam Trivett’s Thirds returned from a rain-affected trip to Basingstoke with a well-deserved victory that, for long periods, looked far from certain.

Having lost the toss, and been asked to bat, openers Bannister and Hartley looked comfortable but, after only 14 balls, thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour forced the teams back into the pavilion. After the rain stopped, and the pitch started to dry, the two skippers agreed to try and make a game happen so, with an early tea taken, the game restarted with Sparsholt knowing that they needed to set a stiff target that their hosts would have reduced, and 20 overs to chase.

The, now damp, pitch clearly favoured the bowlers and the Basingstoke opening pair quickly took advantage. Wickets fell at regular intervals, including two wonderful slip catches, reducing Sparsholt to 45 for 7 with the first ball of the 21st over. Having survived to take drinks, and with the opening bowlers having exhausted their quotas, Archie Hillier and Stuart Barlow set about trying to firstly hang around and then build a reasonable total. Both nudged the ball around for ones & twos, with Barlow hitting a six over midwicket, as 30 runs came from the next 6 overs.

The sharp running took its toll and Barlow pulled up lame, bringing a runner to join the pair at the crease. The pair continued to bat well, aided by a couple of missed chances, with the next 13 overs bringing a further 50 runs before Hillier fell for 33, with the 8th wicket pair having added 88, bringing the score to 133.

A further wicket, and some careful nudges, brought the final score to 139 with Barlow unbeaten on 43 leaving, after the calculations had been completed, the hosts needing 89 to win from their 20 overs.

Sparsholt needed to exert some early control and the opening pair of Emily Dodd and skipper Trivett, did just that with only 2 runs coming from the first 4 overs with Dodd claiming the wicket of Blake playing on.

Archie Hillier and Elliott Colyer, then continued in the same vein restricting the hosts to 24 from the first 10 overs for the loss of three further wickets including fine catches from both Dodd and keeper Keith Whiting.

Sparsholt continued to field well, with the energetic youngsters chasing down and preventing boundaries such that the increasing pressure brought a 2nd run out, and a catch by Whiting, together with tight bowling, from Colyer and Bertie Hillier, meant that only 10 runs and 2 further wickets came from the next 5 overs. Whiting’s smart stumping, off the bowling of Bannister in 16th over, allowed Trivett and Dodd (who returned figures of 4-1-9-3) to return and clean up the tail with the skipper taking the final catch to give his team a return of 21 points from what, hours earlier, seemed to be a lost cause.

The win, which should make the 3rd’s safe from relegation, was a deserved reward for Adam Trivett’s side who now face 2 further away trips to hopefully add further gloss to their season.

This weekend Sparsholt’s first team host Hambledon at the Norman Edwards ground, while both the second and third teams hit the road to Overton and AWE Tadley second’s respectively. On Sunday, Sparsholt host touring side the Old Pilotonians in a friendly fixture.

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