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Basingstoke and North Hants skipper signs off in style
BASINGSTOKE and North Hants captain Dan Coombs signed off his two-year reign in fine style as his side were crowned Southern League Division Two champions.
Having grown up playing at May’s Bounty, it was fitting that the final victory to secure the crown came on home turf.
This was Coombs’ last game in charge and, later this month, he heads off to Australia to be with his girlfriend.
Coombs said: “I am really pleased and proud to captain the side to the title. It was what we set out to do at the start of the season.
“This was a team effort – the batters did well and we had the best bowling attack in the league I believe.”
That fact is borne out in the end-of-season stats as spin twins Dave Pistorius and Matt Thankachan took 33 and 29 wickets each.
Pistorius finished second in the division behind Matt Oliver, while Thankachan was fifth.
Seamer and hat-trick hero in the last-day victory over Paultons, Ryan Connor was next on the list with 28 victims.
Martyn James may have only ended up with 21 wickets for the year, but he had the best economy rate at 2.95, while Graham Porter finished with 20 victims.
Captain Coombs led the batting for his side with 643 runs with only Aussie pair Daniel Payne and Jamie Eccles ahead of him.
Fellow batsmen Chris Froud (466), Dean Nurse (362), Mo Rizwan (318), Craig Williamson (240) and Andrew Fulton (228) all finished in the top 50 for the division.
Lawrence Benge capped a fine first season behind the stumps with 23 dismissals thanks to 19 catches and four stumpings, which saw him finish second in the wicket-keeping stats.
For the second XI, Steve Bucksey was top batter with 294, ahead of Grant Rouse (279) and Richard Vinn (259).
Keith Harsham, who picked up a Player of the Month award during the campaign, was eighth overall in the bowling, taking 27 wickets.
Four other players, Chris Chandler (21), Bucksey (16), Micky Vinn (15) and Keith Harris (13) also made the top 50.
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