Unbeaten Old Tauntonians & Romsey remain top of Southern Premier Division 2 after a two-wicket win over Bashley (Rydal) II, clinched by a Tom George flurry with seven balls to go.
They successfully chased down Bashley’s 166-6 to celebrate a fourth straight win ahead of Saturday’s potentially testing visit to Waterlooville.
Quality new ball bowling by Lewis Allen (2-16 off eight overs) and Hampshire Academy left-armer James Trodd set the tone for OTs, who pinned the Bashley batsmen down in the early stages at the BCG.
Teenager Will Tripcony (46) underlined his increasingly mature batting temperament and with the more aggressive Ben Francis (68) added 78, the former Christchurch batsman hitting his second half-century of the season.
Matt Bampton (0-22 off eight) wheeled away without reward as Bashley were restricted to 166-6
Losing Bothwell Chapungu to a brilliant extra-cover catch by Saif Achakzai provided OTs with an immediate setback, but Charlie King (45) and Harry Tulk (25) took the score to 85 before both fell to emerging Hampshire Under-15 spinner Ethan Baker (2-24).
Rob Newman (21) and more specifically Kamran Dhariwal (31) kept the scoreboard ticking, but wickets fell too, with Phil Morris (4-29) cutting into the middle-order with his telling off-spin.
With OTs 148-7 and still needing 19 to win, the game was in the balance, but Tom George hit a timely 15 not out to see the visitors’ home. Bashley remain winless after three defeats.
Alex Shephard compiled his highest Southern Premier League score for four years as Waterlooville maintained their fine start to the Division 2 season.
The opening bat hit 75 off 85 balls as Ville posted 208 all out en route to victory over South Wilts seconds at Bemerton that lifted them into second place ahead of the big OTs clash.
That was his highest league innings since making 77 against Hursley Park in June 2017, with Shephard’s league best remaining his 116 in a Division 3 game against Havant 2nds six years ago.
He hit nine fours and two sixes after his fellow top order colleagues - skipper Archie Reynolds (10), Namish Verma (13) and Sonny Reynolds (14) had all fallen cheaply.
Shephard found a willing ally in Jon Hudson, whose 33-ball 45 included four boundaries, while Tim Jackson (21) was the only member of the tail to hit double figures.
Jackson then took 4-39 as South Wilts were restricted to 180-9 to lose by 28 runs.
Hudson was generally at the centre of the action as well, trapping opener Joe Cranch (15) leg before and also taking two catches and executing two run-outs. One of the run-outs saw the departure of Raff Hussey (45), Wilts’ top scorer. George Edwards hit 37.