BASINGSTOKE and North Hants completed the double over their local rivals Hook and Newnham Basics in an intriguing encounter played in great atmosphere at the King George V Playing Fields on Saturday.
The Bountymen ended up winning the game by 36 runs, but for large parts of the match, it looked like the home side would be the victors, after they won the toss and decided to bowl on a very wet wicket.
Hook were celebrating after the very first ball, as Basingstoke skipper Chris Froud was dismissed.
As in recent weeks, the Bountymen’s top order failed to fire and Champ (2-42) had Dan Coombs caught behind by Jordan Hobday, taking over the wicket-keeping gloves from Josh Buckingham for the game.
Hook’s opening pair of bowlers certainly tied down the visitors with Shane Brewer (0-7) bowled seven maidens in his superb 10 over spell.
The introduction of spin twins Kevin Poulter (2-20) and Anik Devicha (2-30) saw Basingstoke slump to 65-6, which included the scalp of Richard Vinn (31), the only top order batsman to score any runs.
At this point, it looked like the Bountymen would struggle to reach three figures and this remained the case as Gary Binns (2-37) had the returning Graham Porter caught to make it 87-7.
It was left to top scorer Matt Thankachan (44 not out) and Lawrence Benge (34) to dig in and stop the rot.
The pair added 49 for the eighth wicket, with Benge doing most of the scoring, including a straight six off Divecha.
It was left to Thankachan and Ryan Connor (13) who hammered the second maximum of the innings off Ben Thane, to make sure the visitors had a target to bowl at, as they finished their 50 overs on 178-8.
Hook reply started with Connor (2-34) snapping up the early wicket of Nick Willcock in his first over, which had started with the home batsman hammering him to the boundary for six.
This brought Matt Buckingham (23) to the centre and along with Thane (32) the pair started to build a platform, as they shared a second wicket stand of 40.
It was left to Martyn James to turn the game on its head, as with his last five overs he took 5-11 to send Hook sliding to 74-6.
With still half their overs left, it was Hook’s turn to dig in and this was done by Kieran Thomson (41) and Shane Brewer (24).
They slowly chipped away at the target and the game looked to be swinging their way, when Thankachan (3-14) bowled Brewer to end a seventh wicket stand worth 59 runs.
With the Bountymen’s tails were up again, they soon polished off the final three wickets with Hook were all out for 142.
The final wicket of day - saw the catch of the match, as Thomson looked to have hit the ball over the head of Connor, but the fielder got his hands to it and the expression on his face said it all.
This weekend, Basingstoke are at home to Andover, while Hook entertain Hursley Park.
Basingstoke’s second eleven were unable to stop leaders Tichborne Park, losing by two wickets at May’s Bounty.
Dean Nurse (63), Dan King (31) and Andrew Fulton (29) helped them to an all out total of 188.
The visitors looked to be cruising to victory at 109-1, thanks to opener Martin Cheyney’s 58, but then Rakitha Perera (4-30) got amongst the wickets and in the end they got home with two wickets and seven balls to spare.