Andover first XI scored their biggest total of the season as they beat local rivals St Cross in the Southern Premier Cricket League.

The team welcomed back Mike Adams who replaced Richie Taylor and the Nordlock-sponsored Andover were looking to get back to winning ways following last weeks heavy defeat to the league leaders.

After a hot and humid morning, Andover captain Johnny Nyumbu, won the toss and elected to bat first on an excellent looking London Road pitch.

This decision proved to be completely correct as the Andover opening batsman, Glyn Treagus and Sam Ashman, immediately imposed them on the Winchester sides bowlers.

Treagus hit two of his first four balls to the boundary and this set the tone. Both batsman scored all around the wicket and St Cross tried all their different bowlers, however, none could breach the Andover batsman defences.

The pair put on 184 for the first wicket before Treagus was the first to fall, three short from what would have been yet another Southern League century.

Harry Blackburn added a couple of runs to the total before being dismissed. Charlie Ayers joined Ashman and both looked to get the Andover innings moving.

Ashman, who had reached his highest score of the season of 85, was the next to depart with the score on 220.

Babu Veettil was promoted up the order for quick runs with a handful of overs to go. This was immediately rewarded with the big hitting batsman lifting one into London Road.

Ayers was the next to go for a run-a-ball 23 and Nyumbu also fell in the pursuit of quick runs.

With six overs to go Andover were on 250-5 and the Andover middle order were looking to cash in. Veettil was particularly brutal before he fell for 46 from 27 balls. It was then left to Steve Williams, Matt Knight and Matt Hooper to finish the innings with a bang and Andover ended their 50 overs on 298-7.

Andover were pleased with their score but knew that on a good London Road pitch, any total is within reach. St Cross’ opening batsman knew the task ahead and immediately set about attacking the Andover opening bowlers, Adams and Veettil.

The latter was the first to strike with Matt Knight catching a skier from a mistimed pull shot and St Cross were 33-1 from 6 overs. The run-rate slowed as Adams and Veettil got on top.

The pair was replaced by Aidan Jansen and Nyumbu and Andover remained on top. Nyumbu was the next to strike with the score on 78 with Matt Knight stumping a quick chance.

St Cross were behind the rate and they needed a partnership. As the drizzle started to fall the Andover bowlers struggled to keep their control and St Cross started to score freely.

When the rain relented, Nyumbu reintroduced the spinners and it was himself who dismissed the dangerous looking Laney with the score on 172-3.

Andover then gained completed control collecting the next three wickets quickly with Nyumbu picking up another two and Adams returning to pick up his first.

St Cross were well behind the rate now and fell from 233-7 to 244 all out with Hooper picking up the final three wickets.

This meant Andover were victorious by 54 runs and picked up maximum points.

It is tight at the top of the table with Andover just one win away from second spot.

They travel to second-bottom Fawley on Saturday giving a Southern Premier League debut to James Garraghan after some strong performances in the second XI and in the T20 cup.

Andover will be looking to make it two wins on the bounce and look to score big again in the pursuit of promotion up the Hampshire cricket league period.