Gregor McKenzie [left] emerged from winter hibernation with all guns blazing by smashing a boundary strewn 78-ball century as Fair Oak made their long and expensive day out on the Isle of Wight worthwhile with an emphatic 93-run rain affected win over Ventnor.
McKenzie, who is studying hard at Oxford Brookes, cleared the Steephill boundary twice and struck 16 fours in his 102.
He enjoyed a 121-run opening stand with Tom Hockenhull (51) and then a second century stand with skipper Charles Gwynn (35) before becoming the first of three hard earned victims for Charlie Calloway (3-64) at 222-2.
Will Hughes (28) chipped in before late wickets tumbled as Oaks pressed the accelerator late on. None of the Island bowlers will look back on their figures with any fondness as the Oaks reached a powerful 293-7.
Rain cut Ventnor’s target to a hefty 210 off 24 overs – a task that verged on the nigh impossible as they quickly slipped to 16-3 with new ball pair Ben Smith (2-13) and Freddie Eley doing the damage.
The Islanders salvaged some respectability with Alex Lloyd (back at Steephill after a lengthy absence) making 34 and Martin Blackman 36, but wickets continued to fall regularly to the four-pronged spin attack of Gwynn, Rhys Oxley, Sam Reed and Rufus Bullough to make it a convincing victory from the season’s most arduous away trip.
McKenzie completed a personal triumph by claiming the wicket of Rob Snell, clean bowled first ball.
Vickram Dawson rattled through the Liphook & Ripsley batting order with a spell of 6-32 to leave the Romsey Sports Centre visitors 83 all out.
The former Hursley Park and Portsmouth bowler removed five of Liphook’s top six with only Ryan Covey (24) and Jamie Hall, with a late 22, scoring more than six !
Bothwell Chapungu scored 39 of OTs & Romsey initial fifty, but Liphook hit back, with three wickets from Charles Janczur (3-33) causing the hosts to drop from 50-2 to 74-7 before two boundaries by Lewis Allen got them across the line.
Both sets of batsmen struggled against the new ball in the wind at Holbury, where winners Waterlooville rallied from 42-2 to post 217-8, but Fawley didn't, losing their top four for only14 and with it the match after rain intervened..
A Dan Birch (54) half-century revived the Ville, who were without South African import Chris Taylor but had Sonny Reynolds back after on-going back problems ruled him bowling any overs at Havant. But it was eighth-wicket pair Harry McBride (42) and PGS off-spinner Jack Pearce (20) whose unbroken 59-run stand led to the Ville reaching 217-8.
Fawley, significantly without run gun Sufian Munir, were rocking at 14-4 against Jon Hudson and Ashan Silva and, having been set a testing 145 to win in 22 overs, finished with 99-6 (Tom Edwards 30).
Ben Francis (54) marked his arrival from Christchurch with a half-century, but Bashley (Rydal) II had their SPL2 match with South Wilts II rained off at tea, Phil Morris (42) having also put runs on the board at the BCG.