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South Wilts make splash in Bath with big win
SOUTH Wilts sent shock waves through western cricket circles when they sent mighty Bath spinning out of the ECB Kingfisher Cup national club championships.
They beat the reigning West of England Premier League champions by 63 runs at Bemerton to tee up a group final showdown with either Sully Centurions or Panteg in Salisbury on Sunday, June 17.
Bath, who have twice reached Lord’s finals and are frequently still in the competition at the national semi-final stage, fancied their chances after bowling South Wilts out for a modest 179.
But the current Southern Electric Premier League leaders hit back to skittle Bath for 116 – the visitors slumping to 52-6 at one stage.
South Wilts hit the ground running with opening pair Steve Riddle (36) and Tom Morton (34) putting on 73 in ten overs. Their stand effectively winning the game.As Bath tightened their grip, so South Wilts lost their way, dropping to 129-7 (Owen Alsop 24) before man-of-the-match James Haggaty struck a breezy 31 to lift the final total to 179.
“It was probably advantage Bath at that stage, but we bowled and fielded magnificently, putting them under tremendous pressure and causing them to make mistakes,”
said South Wilts skipper James Hayward.
Bath’s response bordered on the suicidal. Instead of knuckling down and chasing the target down at four runs an over, they sped off as if they had been set 300 to win, never mind 180!
Everyone in the Bath top order hit boundaries – but got themselves out with a series of shots which bordered on wreckless.
James Hibberd took 3-16 and Alsop 1-25 as Bath sank to 52-6 and then 74-7, South Wilts producing some stuning cricket – much to the delight of the large sun-drenched Bemerton crowd.
Haggaty bowled a fiery six-over spell to return 1-10 before Bath, led by James Brown (27), at last began to bat sensibly.
But it was too little too late – spin pair Hayward (2-16) and Rob Franklin (2-22) finishing Bath off at 116 all out, with eight overs still to bowl.
Elsewhere, Havant marched in their Hampshire/Surrey group final with a comfortable 89-run win over Alton at the Jubilee Ground.
Peter Hopson (61) helped Havant post 193-9 (Alex Hughes 3-42), with Stuart Ransley (3-7) and Jez Ord (3- 16) shared six of the wickets as Alton fell to 104 all out.
Only Michael Heffernan (33) and Howard Gadsby (33) made their mark for Alton.
Havant must travel to South London to play Spencer in their group final on June 17.
Steve Musson beat county colleague Andy Mitchell before losing out to Parsons, Stafford defeated Devon’s John Lakeman and Rooney knocked out 16-year-old hot prospect Dan Read from Berkshire.
Other youngsters making their mark were 15-year-old Nathan Street from Alton and Simon Timmins, 14, from Totton.
Parsons picked up his £1,000 winners’ cheque and trophy from Darren Barnaby of sponsors Doves Vauxhall Southampton.
Barnaby said: “We are pleased to be involved in the open.
“Being a new company in the area we want to get involved with the community and it helps people know where we are.”