Normal summertime was restored last week when South Wilts 3s travelled to Fair Oak 2s under overcast skies and the need for several layers!
The wicket looked in good condition but was never going to get any better, so once the toss was won, South Wilts Captain Jody Everett decided to make first use of it and bat first.
Eley (3-51) and N Bass (2-20) bowled tight lines and had South Wilts rocking at 51 for 4 at the 18 over mark.
There was no chance of the fireworks of last week, as the pitch displayed some indifference in bounce which meant you were never fully ‘in’ and it was a battle of attrition to amass as many runs as possible and batted for the full 45 overs. Smith (29), Marc Burton (23 not out) and Wade (26) stuck in there but stand out performance came from Rob Crossley who was steadfast and made a gritty 45 to maintain the recovery. South Wilts finished on 195-9, narrowly missing out on another batting point. Still, it was a decent total from where we were at the midway point and one that was at worst defendable with the varied and confident South Wilts attack.
Marc Burton was miserly at the start and was unlucky not to take more wickets but the plaudits have to go to Tom Lewis who has a habit of taking the new ball and ‘spinning’ us into great positions. He bowled 7 overs, took 3 wickets for just 6 runs. Burton removed ex Salisbury FC goalkeeper Alec Bass for 7 with his six overs costing just 18 runs also. Game on!
All bowlers used chipped in and took wickets at crucial points (Atkinson 1-26, Wade 2-47) but the crucial wicket was that of M Burrell who seemed to have a bat that when struck went like a bullet to the boundary. Adam Prescott nicked him off to Crossley behind the stumps (5 overs, 1 wicket for just 5 runs conceded) and that was really the death nail to any chance of a Fair Oak victory.
Eventually they were all out in the 33rd over of their reply for 106.
This win makes it 6 out of 6 this season and leaves the 3s in a fantastic position in second place in County 2, fractionally behind current leaders Bedhampton 1s by just a 0.33 points average difference. This week they are away to the third placed side Old Basing 1s and South Wilts 3s are at home on the South Wilts Academy Ground, hosting Portsmouth 2s.
“This is an extremely talented group of young players and no matter what XI goes out onto the park, we always play as a solid unit. We can only take one game at a time but it’s great to see so many players putting their hand up each and every week!” Said Everett after the game.