1st XI Suffer Last Day Defeat

South Wilts ended their season with a disappointing defeat away to St Cross at the Greenjackets ground. 

However, there was an almost perfect first half of the first game for South Wilts, which begun with skipper-Hibberd winning the toss and batting. Wade and Cowley put on 81 for the 1st wicket, with the latter being particularly aggressive in scoring a run-a-ball 45, while the second wicket stand of Wade and Mynott added a further 74 to give a strong foundation for the back-end of the innings. During this time, Wade moved to his 5th 50+ score of the season, before falling for a 91-ball 59.

Despite the fall of Hayward cheaply, the runs started to flow at an even greater rate in the last 20 overs. Draper, in looking to repeat his exploits from the timed St Cross fixture in July, smashed a quick-fire half-century from just 36 deliveries, while Mynott also went through the gears. Having looked set for a century, Mynott, rather confusingly, fell for 84 from only 87 balls, with the Loughborough batsman’s first half-century of the season including 6 fours and 2 sixes. Cranch continued the onslaught, smashing 22 from 17 deliveries, before a flurry of late wickets, including Draper for 58 from only 40 balls, halted progress somewhat. However, 283-8 looked well above par for a September pitch.

The target certainly seemed far away after 2 quick wickets from Warner and Hibberd left St Cross 29-2, with the former taking the big wicket of Asher Hart with his second ball. However, much of the rest of the innings followed the timed game between the sides in an uncanny fashion. This started with a rebuilding job done by van Beek and Harry Came, who added 82 for the 3rd wicket. Van Beek was by far the more aggressive, smashing 67 from 63, with 4 sixes included, before falling once again to the leg-spin of Richards. Came was then joined by Billy Mead, with the latter of the teenage pair the aggressor as a further 93 runs were knocked off the target. Having passed 50, Mead, having never looked like getting out, was brilliantly run-out by Wade for 59 as South Wilts dragged themselves back into the game. However, having batted very conservatively up to this point, Came suddenly came out his bunker and started to flail the ball to all parts as St Cross edged closer to the target.

Despite this, South Wilts were still in the driving seat going into the final over, thanks to 2 wickets for Luke Evans limiting the partnerships that could be built. However, South Wilts surprisingly failed to defend 13 from the 50th over, as Came raced past his hundred, his second against South Wilts this season, to end 112* from 122 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes to deliver a shocking defeat onto the visitors.

As it happened, Havant’s 21 point victory over a weakened-Lymington meant this game wouldn’t have clinched the title for South Wilts, but the loss meant they finished 3rd as Bashley moved into second place with a victory over the Academy.    

Rob Pittman