Leaders South Wilts expect to be boosted by the return of three front line batsmen as they embark on three Premier League and twenty20 matches that will shape their season.
The table toppers should have former skipper James Hayward, Jack Mynott and Steve Riddle back as they bid to strengthen their grip on the ECB Southern Electric Premier League championship against a weakened Totton & Eling at the Linden Oval tomorrow SAT.
The trio should also be in action at Horsham on Sunday when South Wilts – as Southern Electric Cup holders – play in the ECB twenty20 Cup south regional finals.
But it’s not all good news as left-hand opener Eddie Abel will miss the remainder of the season after breaking a finger in last week’s 69-run win over St Cross Symondians, which clinched a sixth Time pennant flag in seven years.
South Wilts take a five point lead over Havant into the resumption of 50-over pennant cricket at Southern Gardens.
Totton & Eling are believed to be well below full strength tomorrow, with skipper James Taylor having taken up an appointment as Team Solent’s Wessex League soccer manager.
Darron Augustus is on honeymoon and all-rounder James Haggaty, who made a career-best 137 against Bashley (Rydal) last weekend, is likely to be sidelined with a badly gashed hand.
Second XI skipper Josh Metcalfe is expected to lead Totton against the defending champions.
South Wilts (from): Morton, Mynott, Esson, Hayward, Riddle, Burl, Hibberd, Franklin, Foley, Warner, Burton, Cranch.
On Sunday, South Wilts face Kent Premier League side Beckenham in the high noon ECB regional t20 semi-finals at Horsham.
If they win, they will play the winners of the Ashtead-Hastings & St Leonard’s Priory tie in the regional final.
South Wilts play Lymington in the Southern Electric t20 Cup final under the Ageas Bowl floodlights next Friday, 7pm.