CHRIS Chandler made a winning start in his first competitive match in charge of Basingstoke and North Hants on Sunday, May 7.

Drawn away to Middlesex side Bessborough in the first round of the Evening Standard Trophy, Basingstoke accumulated 237 before being bowled out in the final over.

The batting hero was England under-19 player Mitch Stokes, who opened the innings with a magnificent century.

The 19-year-old, who has just started his first season as a full-time Hampshire player, included 10 sixes and four fours in his innings of 117.

Next best was Russell Droy, batting first wicket down, who made 25.

Bessborough showed little interest in going after the runs and, after rain halted play with the home side on 57-7 after 32 overs, the umpires called a halt. Opening bowlers Jon Govett (3-10) and Chandler (3-9) did most of the damage, with Dean Nurse snapping up the only other home wicket to fall.

Basingstoke won on a faster scoring rate but they have yet to learn their second-round opponents in 10 days time.

Chandler said: "They never really tried to chase the total, but it was a pleasing win for us."

Unfortunately, Stokes' appearance for his home-town club is likely to be a one-off as he has been chosen to captain the Hampshire academy side this summer.

First published: Thursday, May 11, 2006