ANDOVER First XI suffered their third defeat this season despite a strong start at Salisbury.

Returning Hampshire Academy star, Sam Ashman, was back on the team, reinforcing hope for their first win of the season.

Winning the initial toss, Andover opted for bowling right off the bat with predicted showers on the horizon. Andover openers Babu Veettil and Aidan Jansen set the tone with 53-3 and 45-0 scores respectively.

Veettil started the season off positively claiming a wicket in the first over, which was impressively caught out by Berrill.

READ MORE: Andover remain winless as Portsmouth impress away from home

Sarisbury then lost three more wickets leaving Morton, a recognised opener, still on the field while Andover was ready to capitalise.

Ever-changing fortunes saw Veettil sustain a serious cut to his hand, resulting in six stitches and an unavoidable hospital visit. His absence left Andover carrying on with only ten men.

While the Andover team struggled, Salisbury tactically built their score.

A former Andover player, Joshua Banks-Williams, well acquainted with Andover's tactics, put up a remarkable battle against his brother and other Andover bowlers.

Despite their best efforts, spinners Johnny Nyumbu and Hooper could not shake Sarisbury's momentum.

SEE ALSO: Andover charity day raises £7k as football legend wears goalkeeper gloves again

Even when Banks-Williams was out, Morton held steady, unleashing an attack late in the game.

Attempting to outdo one of the league's highest ever run scorers, a weary Andover watched as Salisbury ended the innings on a daunting 268-5.

Andover's openers, Berrill and Sanjeet Garood, took to the field with a challenging total to chase.

Their promising start of 50 runs sprang hope for Andover, however, a sudden shift of pace owing to the introduction of spin, saw their innings slowly dwindle.

With the target steadily climbing, Andover looked on helpless as their score fell from a hopeful 58-1 to a dismal 77-2.

Their downwards spiral continued into the 40th over before being bowled out at 137, losing by a stark 131 run difference.

Morton's brilliant innings overshadowed efforts from the entire Andover team, emphasising the exceptional performance that led to Andover's defeat.

Looking forward, Andover will welcome neighbouring Hook to their next match at London Road on Saturday with a 12.30pm start.

Despite no victories, Andover remain positive considering their past matches might have pitted them against the top three teams in the division.