Basingstoke and North Hants skipper happy as his side win on tricky wicket (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Basingstoke and North Hants skipper Dan Coombs happy as his side win on tricky wicket
BASINGSTOKE and North Hants remain on course for the Southern League Division Two title after a five wicket victory at bottom side Tichborne Park.
On paper it looked straight forward win, but the Bounty-men did have a bit of a fright when they lost both their openers in the first over of their reply.
It was left to skipper Dan Coombs (45) to take up the mantle and guide the visitors to victory.
Earlier in the game, the home side were bowled out just 87 as Martyn James and Matt Thankachan collected three victims each, while Dave Pistorius and Ryan Connor shared the other four wickets.
With second placed Hursley Park also winning, the destination of the title looks set to be decided when the two teams meet at May’s Bounty a week on Saturday.
Before this Basingstoke travel to Totton and Eling II, while Hursley entertain Tichborne Park.
Looking back on his side’s latest victory Basingstoke captain Coombs said: “They may be bottom of the league, but they’ve won three of their last five games.
“Their roller had broken so the pitch was very tricky, with the ball being very unpredictable. I would have bowled first, so losing the toss worked out fine for us.”
Coombs once again praised his bowling attack as they bowled out for the home side for 87 and said: “We bowled really tight and kept the pressure on from the first ball and never gave them any freebies. They had some dangerous batters, but only their opener managed to get any runs.”
Chasing such a low total the main thing for the Bountymen was not to lose early wickets, but that proved not to be the case.
Chris Froud was dropped on the first ball of the innings and then a mix-up saw Andy Fulton run out without facing.
Then, on the final delivery of the over, Froud was bowled leaving the visitors 1-2.
Coombs admitted he could not believe the start and said: “I wondered what was happening, we certainly did not want to start like that. From there we grafted away and got the runs we needed to earn another win.
“I think after last week when we would have won if the rain had not come, it was important to make sure we won to keep us in pole position in the table.”
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