ANDOVER Cricket Club made it a hat-trick of league wins with a five-wicket victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Portsmouth last weekend.

The two Southern Premier League Division One high-flyers went head-to-head at London Road on Saturday with third-placed Andover in need of a victory to catch up to their second-placed rivals.

And the town side did exactly that, taking 22 points from the game to narrow the gap on their weekend opponents and current league leaders Sarisbury.

After a wet week and minimal opportunities to get on the wicket, the ground staff did a superb job in producing a belter of a wicket.

Skipper Matt Hooper lost the toss and was asked to field first.

In-form pace-man Babu Veettil (pictured) produced a quickfire double strike when he found the edge of opener Locke and then had overseas player Fraser Hay caught at cover by Danny Foy.

Opening partner Mike Adams then came to the party, clean bowling Farrant at number three.

Hooper introduced himself into the attack with instant success when Smitherman was superbly caught at slip by Matt’s twin brother, Ali.

Portsmouth mounted a recovery with Jack Marsten and James Christian batting sensibly in the conditions.

However, the Andover attack kept coming and they were rewarded with their fifth wicket when Kiwi star James O’Gorman bowled Marsten for 32.

Christian then moved through the gears to get to an excellent 78, well supported by Collier with a hard-hitting 42.

Veettil came back to rip out both of their off-stumps to finish with figures of 4-42 off 10 overs.

The Portsmouth innings closed on 244-7 from their 50 overs.

Andover started their run chase positively with Ali Hooper and Will Arnold taking 20 off the first two overs before Hay dismantled Hooper’s stumps with a pacey yorker.

Arnold then followed suit in exactly the same fashion to leave the town club on 44-2 from the first 10 overs.

In-form duo Glyn Treagus and O’Gorman joined forces once again to produce another big partnership.

Both hit crisp drives and ran well to give the chase momentum.

O’Gorman fell agonisingly short of his half century once again after being caught LBW for a very good 46.

The New Zealander has had three scores in the 40s so far this season, along with two half centuries.

Treagus continued to take apart the Portsmouth attack and was joined by debutant Josh Ballantine-Dykes, who quickly came and went, before the introduction of big-hitting Max Souter.

The pair took the town side to 186 before Treagus was caught.

The evergreen batsman notched another 71 runs on his impressive tally for the season.

With five wickets in hand and 15 overs to score the remaining 60 runs, Matt Knight (25*) and Souter hit their stride to get over the line with five overs to spare.

Andover recorded a narrow victory over Liphook on Saturday - For a full report see Friday's Andover Advertiser.