Sarisbury Athletic are Hampshire’s new indoor cricket champions after Peter Hammond produced a splendid all-round performance against Waterlooville in what was effectively the county final at the Ageas Bowl.
Hammond hit an unbeaten 63 and followed it up with two wickets as Sarisbury Athletic beat the Ville by 24 runs to clinch a place in the upcoming ECB national indoor championships against Island champions Newport.
Sarisbury had to beat both Paultons and Waterlooville in the round-robin tournament and were indebted to a late salvo from Simon Orr, who hit an unbeaten 41 to release the shackles, in the opening match against Paultons.
Orr plundered 18 runs off the final over before Sarisbury defended a relatively modest 116-4 – Andrew Collins plundering a quick-fire 25 as Paulton raced to 45-1 off five overs.
Phil Jewell, with a tidy 3-17, and Dave Banks bowled Sarisbury back into the contest and pegged Paultons to 94 all out.
Paultons, who won the New Forest Indoor League last winter, visibly tired in their immediate second match against Waterlooville, who ran up a thumping 151-1 before Tony Richman’s 41 took the Ower reply to 107.
The roles were reversed in the ‘final’ showdown with Waterlooville, whose own attack was savaged for 154 by Sarisbury Athletic – James Ingram (33) and Banks (33) supporting Hammond, who ran amok.
Sam Hillman (45) led a spirited Ville reply, which ended at 130-5.