Basingstoke and North Hants welcome fellow high-flyers Liphook and Ripsley to May's Bounty

Basingstoke Gazette: Graham Porter will miss Basingstoke's game against Liphook and Ripsley Graham Porter will miss Basingstoke's game against Liphook and Ripsley

BASINGSTOKE and North Hants face an early season Southern League Division One top-of-the-table showdown when Liphook and Ripsley are the visitors to May’s Bounty this Saturday.

They are the only two sides in the division to have won both their games this season.

Liphook looked to be heading to defeat last Saturday, slumping to 76-7 as they chased Bournemouth’s 182-8.

A swash buckling innings from captain Harry Munt, who hit an unbeaten 70, turned the game on its head and they got home with two wickets to spare.

On the opening day of the season Liphook had a comfortable victory at Fawley, which is where the Bountymen enjoyed their latest triumph with a 133-run win last Saturday.

Basingstoke will have to make one change to their line-up as all-rounder Graham Porter is unavailable.

Basingstoke skipper Chris Froud was set to decide who his replacement would be after training last night, as a number of second-team players are in the frame.

Once again this weekend, the newly-promoted Bountymen know very little about the opponents they face.

Froud said: “We have been told they are a good team and have a good overseas player (Suman Ganguly) who can bat and bowl.

“We are playing with a lot of confidence and never lost at home last season, so we are looking forward to the game.”

Basingstoke made it two wins on the road at Fawley last weekend, after they won the toss and decided to bat.

The visitors proved it was a good batting track as they amassed a huge total of 329-7.

The platform for this was set by openers Andy Fulton (37) and Chris Froud (66) as they put the opening Fawley bowlers to the sword and scored 64 from the first 10 overs, before they were parted soon after.

Top scorer Dan Coombs (79) and Froud kept the runs flowing, as they took the score to 190, before Coombs was dismissed. His 80 ball knock had included nine fours.

This was the first of two wickets in two balls for Wayne Smith (3-46), as Andy Niblett departed for a golden duck, caught behind by Kieran Earl.

Craig Williamson (27) denied Smith his hat-trick, but Froud was out soon after to end an 87-ball knock in which he hit the boundary seven times.

Williamson and Martyn James (44) added 67 for the fifth wicket as they took the score to 262.

The last 10 overs of the innings saw Basingstoke score an amazing 109 and this was helped by James, who hit two sixes and three fours in his 43-ball stay at the centre, and then Graham Porter (45 not out) took up the mantle with another run-a-ball innings which saw him hit one maximum and six fours.

In reply, Fawley started well, with captain Tom Gates (38), who was limping after he was injured while fielding, and fellow opener Paul Marks (45) putting on 61 in the first 10 overs.

The pair were parted by James and from then on, the run rate fell away thanks to the bowling of Porter (2-28), Andy Niblett (0-15) and spin twins Dave Pistorius (2-29) and Matt Thankachan (2-35).

By the 30-over mark, Fawley were on 122-4, but the home side dug in and with five overs to go, the Bountymen still needed one wicket for maximum points from the game.

However, Wayne Royan (45) and Wayne Smith (16), with some late boundaries, saw the game out as the home side reached 196-9.

Basingstoke’s second eleven also won last Saturday, with captain Chris Chandler hitting a six to secure a three-wicket win over visiting Trojans in Southern League Division Three.

The visitors were bowled out for 191 as Chandler (3-31), Rakitha Perera (2-29) and Patrick Joseph (2-33) did the damage.

The home side looked in trouble at 118-6, with Lee Nurse (35) the best of the top five scorers.

The Bountymen’s tail struck around and Chandler hit an unbeaten 54, which included two sixes and six fours, and saw them home with five overs to spare.

The second XI will look to make it a hat-trick of wins in as many weeks with a trip to Bashley this weekend.

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