ANDOVER opened their Southern League Division One campaign in fine six wicket win over visiting Ventnor, writes MATT KNIGHT.

Home skipper Matt Hooper won the toss and elected to bowl first on a chilly day at London Road.

Hooper threw the new ball to familiar pairing Mike Adams and Babu Veettil and they bowled tightly at the Ventnor openers, Rob Snell and charlie Calloway.

Battling with a fierce wind, Adams and Veettil did well to restrict the score to 25 off the first 10 overs but were not rewarded with any wickets. Aidan Jansen (2-19 from six overs) was introduced into the attack and the move paid immediate dividends as he had Snell caught behind for 10 and the removed the new batsmen George Willis without scoring.

After this double salvo, Ventnor retreated into their shell. They showed great respect to Jansen and Richie Taylor and limped to 50 off 20 overs. Leg spinner Charlie Ayers (4-38) was then introduced into the attack. He struck quickly, bowling Calloway for 36 and then had Souvak Sanyal caught in the deep by skipper Hooper for 24.

This left Ventnor on 81-4 at the drinks interval at 25 overs.

After drinks Hooper brought himself into the attack. A superb legside catch by new wicketkeeper Lewis McManus gave Andover their fifth wicket and left Ventnor reeling at 100-5.

Andover then moved in for the kill. Ayers and Veettil blew away the Ventnor (2-16) tail to leave Andover a seemingly simple chase of 125 from 50 overs.

Ayers was the chief destroyer finishing with four wickets from his 8.5 overs.

Andover set about the Ventnor total after tea.

Ali Hooper and Glyn Treagus tucked into some loose Ventnor opening bowling, getting the town side off to a quick start.

Hooper struck six boundaries in a quick fire 25 before dragging a wide ball onto his stumps.

This brought Hampshire star McManus to the crease.

He and Treagus set about chasing down the Ventnor total. The pair showed solid defence and a range of attacking shots to accelerate Andover to 100-1.

Treagus (40) and McManus (47) fell before the they could close out the win, but Andover were able to complete their first win of the season within 20 overs.

It was a strong start by Nordlock sponsored Andover and they will look to continue this form as they travel to Sparsholt next week.