The heatwave continued in the Salisbury area on Saturday when South Wilts 3s played host to Sarisbury Athletic 2s on the Academy Ground, Lower Bemerton.
With a bone dry outfield and a fresh pitch home Captain Jody Everett won the toss and decided to bat first and have his unbeaten charges make first use of the wicket.
Adam Prescott has made a positive impact in his first season with the club and he looked to continue his fine form with the bat… he did so with aplomb. He batted absolutely superbly, even with being jet lagged and once he had been reprieved after being clean bowled off a no ball, looked set to make a big score yet again. Edward Wade was again looking positive in stature and deed again which is a great move for him. He batted positively from ball one until he was dismissed for and almost run a ball 32.
Meanwhile Prescott kept piling misery on the Sarisbury attack at the other end, being helped a tad by being dropped a couple of times… but they don’t count in the scorebook!
Ben Richards has been looking good over recent weeks without getting ‘in’ and at a new batting position of 4 for this week scored 60 in 59 balls and included 8 fours and 1 six!
At the 30 over drinks break, South Wilts were 217-2 and the 300 was on…. Prescott’s previous high score was 151 and today was the day that he was going to smash that. When out, he had scored an incredible 177 from just 122 balls and had smashed 17 fours and 6 sixes! It was spectacular to watch and simply a first class display from the 27 year old allrounder!
There were cameos at the end of the innings with Tom Bolam striking the ball well after his 94 not out for the 4th XI last week and he hit two big sixes to remain unbeaten 26 at the end along with Everett who looked to rotate the strike and keep the total moving, even reverse sweeping the left arm spinner a few times, ending up 18 not out from 13 balls.
South Wilts ended their innings on 350-7 from their allotted 45 overs leaving Sarisbury requiring 7.8 runs an over from the start, which although always tough to do would be possible with such a quick outfield.
Remember to drink lots of water on a day like that, Tom Bolam was unable to continue after suffering from heat exhaustion after bowling 3 overs and had to leave the field after removing opener Day, for 10.
Luckily South Wilts player Miles Kantolinna was watching the game with his father and was able to take the field to replace him for the rest of the innings after finding kit from several different bags in the changing room.
It was evident quite quickly that the away side after being 2 wickets down were not looking to chase the total down and were going to bat for as long as possible to get as many batting points as possible.
Marc Burton was miserly as ever and deserved more luck, bowling as tidy as ever but only getting one scalp when on another day could have got 3 or 4 wickets. However the wicket he did pick up was that of Toby Mitcheson who looked assured at the wicket, scoring 60 which would turn out to be Sarisburys highest scorer.
Tom Lewis continues to impress again after a quiet time last year and picked up two more wickets. But just as last week the centurion also decided to make an impact with the ball, Prescott picking up 2 wickets as well as South Wilts pushed to bowl Sarisbury out and pick up maximum points and put more pressure on Bedhampton who currently sit top of County 2.
The two stand out moments of the fielding reply though belong to Kantolinna. The first a run out when he over ran the ball, the batters decided to take on his throw and with one stump to aim at left the player stranded as the ball hit the stump with the player well out of his ground!
The second helped get Prescott his second wicket, a big drive took the outside edge and flew to Kantolinna in the slips. The rust dropped away as he instinctively grabbed it and was a great sight from the former glove man!
Dropped catches didn’t help our cause though as we put down four or five in the field which helped Sarisbury finish up 236-9 with one extra point left on the field.
That’s 8 wins in 8 matches this season and a side with unbelievable spirit, drive and ambition keeps moving forward. “Dropped catches aside, that’s was an amazing performance from us yet again and Prescott really does deserve a lot of praise for his knock today! It really sets us up for an intriguing 2nd half of the season” said Everett after the match… which it certainly does! “We would have never thought that we would be 2nd at any part of the season, let alone unbeaten and second at halfway”.
We are on our travels next week as the side play New Milton, away and look to continue the impressive start to our inaugural season in Hampshire League County 2.