Andover cricket team completed their truncated pre-season with a dominant display against Basingstoke before starting Southern Premier League division one action this Saturday (12.30pm) at London Road. 

Following an inter-club match a fortnight ago, Nordlock-sponsored Andover travelled to the Mays Bounty on an extremely cold day to take on Basingstoke, now in the premier division following their promotion last season.

With a chill in the air and rain forecast, returning captain Johnny Nyumbu decided to give his batsmen another go before the real action commences.

All of the Andover batters had time in the middle with Babu Veettill showing that his batting fireworks work in all temperatures.

Andover Advertiser: Captain Johnny Nyumbu will look to direct another successful season for Andover Cricket Club this summerCaptain Johnny Nyumbu will look to direct another successful season for Andover Cricket Club this summer (Image: Ian Thacker)

The destructive middle-order batsman hit six sixes in his 54 from just 22 balls. He was ably supported by Nyumbu (23) and Glyn Treagus (21), both of whom looked in good touch, as Andover posted a competitive 196, being bowled out in the final over of their 40 overs.

Nyumbu rotated his bowlers, giving them all a chance, but despite this Andover had Basingstoke in trouble at 126-7 with 10 overs to go before the rain arrived.

Andover's experienced bowling line up looks extremely strong and all bowled well. Opener Aidan Jansen with three wickets was the pick of the bowlers but Veettil showed he had lost none of his control over the winter, Michael Adams bowled tidily and Nyumbu showed he still oozes class with his off-spin.

There was also a first wicket for newly signed Sachin Sivanandan who has joined Andover from Eversley.

Andover have lost star batsman, Richmond Mutumbami to league rivals Totton, whom they face this Saturday at London Road, but have signed a number of exciting youngsters to push the towns promotion charge.

Will Berrill, Alex Corbett and Sanjeet Garood all come into the top of the order, ably supported by the ever-dependable Ollie Banks-Williams, the experienced Treagus and the powerful Harri Williams.

Banks-Williams, who bowled quickly at Basingstoke, and Matt Hooper complete the bowling attack and it is likely that Corbett and Berrill will be completing the wicket-keeping duties. 

In the first league game of the season Andover host Totton, who were relegated from the premier league last season, at their home ground on London Road.

The pitch is in remarkably good shape despite an extremely wet winter and spring with everything looking set for a brilliant summer of cricket in the town.

Totton bring with them a familiar face in Mutumbami, who scored the most runs in the league for Andover last season, but Andover know they are a feared side in the division having finished second last year.

The town side go into the season with confidence high and are hopeful that a few early wins will set them up for another good season.