Newly promoted as runners-up to United Services in County Division 2 last term, Bishops got an immediate eye opener about the step up in playing standards when Alton II, relegated from Southern Premier Division 3 in 2015, trounced them by eight wickets in their opening game.
An 11-run defeat by St Cross Symondians III followed, but since them Bishops have moved into a comfortable mid-table slot with three straight wins.
They won by 37 runs at Ventnor II, edged out much fancied Portsmouth & Southsea by one run, and then celebrated their best win yet by eight wickets at Bath Lane.
The past two wins have been with Sunny Bhimsaria, the club’s latest Hong Kong recruit, playing in the side.
The 22-year old leg-spin bowler, who spent a Western Australian ‘winter’ in Perth at former Hampshire manager Paul Terry’s Cricket Academy in 2012/13 and played Grade cricket for Melville, bowled a tidy ten-over spell to set up the P & S win.
But let his batting do the talking against Fareham & Crofton, hitting an unbeaten 92 as his side chased down 181-7 to win by eight wickets.
He went unrewarded with his leg-spin, his effectiveness nullified by bowling primarily at left-handers Tom Kent (50) and Matt Gould (41), who forced skipper Dan Wheeler to withdraw him from the attack after six overs.
But after tea, Bhimsaria showed off his batting prowess, striking two sixes and 13 boundaries as Waltham, with support from Dom Quincey (20) and Mark Boriani (25 not out), coasted home with 21 overs to spare.
“It was an awesome innings and brilliant to watch,' said Wheeler.
“He hit the bad balls, picked the gaps and was unlucky not to end up with a ton.
“Batting has been an issue but his innings had a calming effect on our other players.
“We probably had the better of the (uncovered) pitch which was lively early on because of the overnight rain.
“Off-spinner Sam Medhurst bowled well, taking 4-28, getting the ball to grip and turn.”
There has been even better news for Waltham on the back of the Fareham victory.
Ross Bullard, who spearheaded last season’s promotion drive with 737 County Division 2 runs, announced his return from injury with an unbeaten 122 in Waltham II’s 88-run win over Liphook & Ripsley in County 3 North.
“That really was a bonus. Filling the void left by a guy who had scored over 700 runs the previous season was very difficult, so that’s marvellous news.”