BASINGSTOKE defeated Andover by three wickets in a top-of-the-table clash in the Southern Premier Cricket League last Saturday.

In a close low-scoring match, Basingstoke chased down Andover’s 123 in the 31st over.

Andover side, sponsored by Nordlock, won the toss and elected to bat first despite the county ground pitch looking greener than normal.

Andover openers Harri Williams (1), fresh from his half century the week before, and Glyn Treagus (12) started cautiously on what was a lively pitch.

With scoring difficult Williams took it upon himself to continue his good form, but he was caught being looking to push the innings forward.

Treagus soon followed and Andover were in trouble. Richmond Mutumbami (4), the Zimbabwean international, then had his first failure in an Andover shirt and Andover were really struggling at 23-3.

Ayers (0) and Josh Bank-Williams (6) also fell quickly, leaving Andover at 37-5.

Ex-skipper, Matt Hooper (35*), joined young Hampshire player Ollie Banks-Williams (13) and Andover looked to rebuild until the young star tried to increase the scoring rate.

Andover Advertiser: Matt Hooper was the top scorer for Andover.Matt Hooper was the top scorer for Andover. (Image: Contributed)

Big hitter Babu Veettil (17) smashed a couple of sixes but was caught going for another big shot, leaving Andover at 71-7.

Captain Johnny Nyumbu (1) was caught trying to take on the spinner. Number 10 Aidan Jansen (0) came and went which left last man Michael Adams (10) with Hooper trying to drag Andover over 100.

The pair were working their way up towards a 50 partnership before Adams was adjudged LBW and Andover were bowled out for 123.

Nyumbu changed things up and threw the ball to Jansen (16-5) to open the bowling with regular pacer Veettil (12-0).

This was an inspired decision as Jansen ripped through the Basingstoke top order with his left arm pace.

Bowling with brilliant skill and control the Basingstoke batters were in all sorts of bother. The wickets fell in every one of Jansen’s first four overs.

Jansen picked up a fifth wicket with the score on 35 and Basingstoke were looking to get out of Jansen’s 10-over spell without being bowled out.

Josh Banks-Williams (41-1) picked up the crucial wicket of the Basingstoke captain that left the home side at 59-6.

Basingstoke still had time on their side but Nyumbu rotated his bowlers well.

Ollie Banks-Williams (11-1) picked up the next wicket, 20 runs later, well caught by Ayers, and the Mays Bounty side needed a further 50 with three wickets left.

Unfortunately, for Andover, they were unable to prize out any further wickets as the Basingstoke batters played cautiously while taking the odd calculated risk.

Basingstoke passed the Andover total in the 31st over and Andover were left reeling from a lack of application with the bat.

The win gave some breathing space to Basingstoke at the top of the table and dropped Andover down to third.

The London Road outfit have won four and lost two in a very positive start to the season. They welcome Calmore to London Road on Saturday, June 24 (12.30pm start) who sit on the same amount of wins as the town side.