Ryan Connor claims a hat-trick as Basingstoke and North Hants clinch title in style (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Ryan Connor claims a hat-trick as Basingstoke and North Hants clinch title in style
SEAM bowler Ryan Connor grabbed the first hat-trick for Basingstoke and North Hants this season – and from then on the writing was on the wall for visiting Paultons as they lost by 123 runs.
The New Forest side looked in with shout of upsetting the Bountymen’s Southern League Division Two title ambitions as they reached 98-4 in the 29th over, chasing 252 for victory.
However, that was all to change as Connor (3-24), bowling his final over of the game, first removed top scorer Lee Wateridge (33), trapped leg before.
Patrick Pritchard quickly followed, bowled first ball, and then Simon Ennew departed, thanks to a nifty caught and bowled as Connor claimed his hat-trick.
He so nearly took four wickets with his last four balls, but Alex Spearing’s shot failed to carry to the field.
At 98-7 there was never really any way back for Paultons and it was left to spin bowler Dave Pistorius (3-23) to wrap up the innings, thanks to some excellent catches from Mo Rizwan and Graham Porter.
Porter collected his third catch of the game with the final dismissal, a super one-handed effort at deep mid off.
The Paultons reply had only lasted three balls before Martyn James (3-22) struck to remove the visitors’ star batsman, Stewart Magee, trapped leg before.
Follow opener Dean White (12) soon followed, caught behind by Lawrence Benge to give Porter his only wicket of the game.
James continued his excellent spell, accounting for Chris Ray and John Robinson, before Connor and Pistorius took over, leaving talented teenager Rob Pike unbeaten on 20 at the end as Paultons were all out for 128.
Earlier in the game, having won the toss and elected to bat, openers Chris Froud and Dan Coombs (11) made a steady start, before their partnership was broken by Alex Spearing (2-34) with the score on 41.
Froud was the second man out, his 39-ball 34 having seen him hit six fours, and from then on the home side struggled, reaching 100-5 after 20 overs.
The cavalry arrived in the shape of Matt Thankachan (51), who finished top scorer in the match.
He hit the only six in the innings, off Dean White, in a very expensive over as the Basingstoke batsman hit four, four, six and four to bring up his 50 in 61 balls.
He shared a ninth-wicket partnership worth 40 with Connor and then last pair Connor (41) and Pistorius (21) compiled an unbeaten stand of 61.
They put on 51 in the last 10 overs, with Connor finding the boundary rope five times and Pistorius four as the Bountymen finished on 251-9, which proved to much for the visitors.
The victory secured the Division Two title and promotion for Basingstoke, who will face Hook and Newnham Basics in the league next season.
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