HOOK and Newnham Basics skipper Matt Love is hoping his batsmen will get some time in the centre this weekend, when Fawley are the visitors in Southern League Division One.

This was after he watched his side lose by five wickets on a difficult track at Hambledon at the weekend.

Love said: “I think our downfall was the fact that because our first game was washed out and we only bowled in the second game, the guys had not had a bat for a month. So I hope they will be able to get some time in the centre this weekend.”

Visiting Fawley have lost both their games this season and have an injury doubt on opening bat Tom Gates, who injured his knee falling awkwardly as he tried to stop a six from Basingstoke’s Martyn James last weekend.

Love is looking forward to the home game and said: “We are looking to make our home a fortress and we have the talent in the team to do this.”

Last Saturday, Hambledon once again proved not to be a happy hunting ground for Hook.

It was no surprise when the home side won the toss and decided to bowl, but openers Ben Thane (13) and Jordan Hobday (31) got Hook off to a decent start.

Unfortunately, the middle order was then ripped out by Ian Turner (5-5) and Zanzima Pongolo (3-40).

Hook made some sort of a recovery thanks to top scorer Spencer Champ (35) and Josh Buckingham (33), who hung around as they added to the final total of 173.

Hook gave themselves a chance as Champ (1-36), Glen Williams (2-18) and Ben Thane (1-23) made early inroads into the Hambledon batting line-up.

However, half centuries from Pongolo (53) and James Marshall (57) saw their side home with nine overs to spare with a winning score of 174-5.