On the back of a disappointing display last week, South Wilts 2nd XI were looking to bounce back with immediate affect against an OT & Romsey side going well in Southern Premier Division 2.
Having won the toss, it was an easy call to have a bat first from South Wilts captain Rob Pittman, however with Hampshire pro Chris Wood opening the bowling for Romsey, clearly it would be a test for openers Henry Smith and Tom Berzins.
Getting through the first 15 overs unscathed was credit to them but when Smith and then Joe Cranch were to fall quickly, the innings looked slightly troubled. Spinners Matt Bampton and Joseph Vaughan maintained the pressure and with runs suddenly at a premium, the innings was in danger of stuttering.
Indeed, this was to happen. 82-2 turned quickly to 120-8, the loss of Berzins for 51 being a key wicket. A combination of tight and tidy bowling, along with some in-disciplined batting, bringing about a collapse that has become all too frequent in the second team this season. Whilst 230 would’ve been a big total, re-assessing and scoring 200 would have kept the hosts well in truly in the game. However, Bampton and Vaughan were to finish with 7 wickets between them and although Steve Booth finished unbeaten on 42, South Wilts finished on a below par 152.
In reply, Romsey were to get off to a solid start in similar fashion. However, when Booth was to remove Chris Wood, South Wilts felt they may have a chance if they could just sneak a couple more quick wickets.
Ex-South Wilts player Charlie King showed good application and with support coming at the other end, the visitors seemingly looked in control of the chase. 70-1 turned into 94-4, spinners Pittman and Pearce keeping it tight, although maybe not threatening the bat as much as they may have hoped. King was able to see the innings home finishing unbeaten on 54, wrapping up the innings in 35 overs for the loss of 5.
With just 2 games left until the reverse fixtures come around, the second string will be hopeful of winning at least 1 of them. This week they head to Sparsholt who have shown some mixed form this season.