The South African (pictured) came to the party, top scoring with 77 and later taking 3-27 as Ropley (202) trimmed newly promoted Parley by 25 runs. Alex Nippard made 50 for the Dorset side.
Relegated Alton II lost by four wickets at Jones Lane, where Matt Young (48) steered the Watersiders home. Michael Salmon (40) and 3-25 shone for the Brewers (139), while former Bishop’s Waltham all-rounder Andy Wakely took 3-14 on Hythe debut.
Hursley Park’s CD1 return didn’t go well either – visiting Easton & Martyr Worthy dismissing Lee Wateridge’s team for 131 (Adam Carrick 3-18) and winning by three wickets.
Chris Westbrook and his grounds team had worked a minor miracle getting a previously waterlogged Quarters ground fit for play.
Fareham & Crofton started their campaign with a thrilling one-run win over promoted Andover II at London Road.
Visiting captain Tom Kent admitted it was a nail-biting start to the season.
'We are renowned for not doing anything the easy way,' said Kent. 'It was a tight game all the way through and could have gone either way. At the start we bowled pretty poorly but later in their innings we improved things. We managed to pull it back and bowled them out for 177 which we thought was a good effort.'
Teenager Dan Wimble grabbed three wickets and Morgan Frost finished with 2-30 off his ten overs.
In reply a number of visiting batsmen got into the twenties without converting them into bigger scores.
'It was nip and tuck all the way through,' said Kent. 'Whenever we started to get on top they would take a couple of wickets to swing the game back their way.'
Angus Southon (28) and Morgan Frost (18*) produced a crucial ninth-wicket partnership to put Fareham in sight of victory.
The visitors needed four off the final over to win but only had one wicket left. Last man Matt Gould held his nerve and hit the winning runs on the second ball of the final over..
'It makes a change for us to get off to a winning start because it is something we don't normally do.'
Bishops Waltham suffered a three-wicket defeat at O T's & Romsey at the Romsey Sports Centre.
After being put into bat Bishops Waltham found themselves in deep trouble at 59-5.
Suhaib Ahmed (31) and Luke Carvey (43) eventually helped them post a target of 163 all out.
When OT's replied Philip Dalton (3-19) had them in dire straits at 8-5, removing their top three batsmen.
Though Harry Barrett (2-35) grabbed two further wickets, the visitors didn't have enough runs to avoid defeat, Gus Flack's 49 proving a real match winner.
Michael Taplin tenure as Longparish first team skipper got off to a flying
start with an impressive 74 run win over St Cross Symondians III at the Green Jackets Ground.
Invited to bat, Taplin put on 98 for the opening wicket before Ben Gardner (39) departed.
Taplin top scored with 75 as Longparish closed on 236.
The St Cross III reply got off to a bad start with the unfortunate run out of Raj Naik (19), the Winchester hosts stumbling 49-5.
But Josh Merluk (21), Steve Fryer (23) and Felix Bussey Jones (31) restored some respectability to the St Cross III which terminated in the 45th over with James Bevan (4-26) the pick of the Longparish attack.
Jordan Hobday (71) and Ben Allnutt (47) guided Hook & Newnham Basics to 224 at Shrewton, but the Wiltshire side swept to a five-wicket win, with Stuart Cruse (64) and Dan Bingley (51) and Will Harries (38 not out) to the fore.
Ryde’s marathon trip to Rowledge ended in a crushing 110-run defeat. They restricted their hosts to 169 (Woodcliffe 36), but led by Tim Wheatley (4-2) Rowledge bowled Ryde out for 59. It was a long quiet ride back to Ryde pier …