Basingstoke and North Hants aim to continue excellent start to the season

Captain Chris Froud will return to the Basingstoke side this weekend

Captain Chris Froud will return to the Basingstoke side this weekend Buy this photo

First published in Sport Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

BASINGSTOKE and North Hants CC will be looking to make it four away wins out of four when they visit old rivals Hursley Park on Saturday.

The Bountymen sit second in the Southern League Division One table after maintaining their 100 per cent record in completed games with a 32-run victory over Bournemouth last weekend.

Like Basingstoke, Hursley Park were promoted from Division Two last season, finishing just behind the Bountymen. However, Hursley have found life at the higher level much tougher, losing their first two games of the season.

Basingstoke won by 54 runs when the teams met at Hursley last season, successfully defending their all-out total of 199, and Froud’s side go into the game full of confidence.

“We are always confident at home, where we were unbeaten last year,” he said. “Playing away can be more daunting, so to win three out of three so far is excellent. Hopefully, we can keep it up this weekend.

“We had quite a good rivalry going with Hursley Park last year, competing for the league, so we know a bit about them. It will be the first time this season that we have gone into a game knowing what to expect.

“They have got a couple of decent batsmen, and bowling-wise, they have got some good slow bowlers, so we will need to look out for that.”

Froud will return to open the batting, but all-rounder Graham Porter will be absent again. However, Dean Nurse is in contention for a place in the side after returning from a thumb injury in the second team last week.

At Bournemouth, stand-in captain Dan Coombs lost the toss and Basingstoke were put in to bat on a tricky wicket.

Scoring was tough and Craig Williamson top-scored with 23 as the visitors were bowled out for 110, putting their unbeaten record in serious doubt.

Bournemouth looked on course for a comfortable victory as their opening partnership put on 22. But a flurry of wickets for Martyn James (3-15) and Ryan Connor (3-24) had the home side reeling at 41-6 after 20 overs and they were eventually dismissed for 78.

On Sunday, the Bountymen host Division Three outfit Fair Oak in the opening round of the Southern Electric t20 Cup.

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