Tough defeat for Town at Basingstoke

Luke Graham celebrates a wicket with Andover teammates

Luke Graham celebrates a wicket with Andover teammates

First published in Sport

Basingstoke & NH v Andover.

Vision Express sponsored Andover could not repeat their performance from the previous week when they went down to a narrow defeat at the hands of third placed Basingstoke.

The away side lost the toss and found themselves in the field but came out firing with in-form Dave Taylor leading the charge.

The former pro bowled yet another fearsome spell, ripping out the Basingstoke top three thanks for good catches from skipper Mike Adams and Robbie Hadfield.

A small rebuild ensued with left hander Steve Bucksey resolute in defence, picking up singles where possible as he made a 72 not out, nearly batting the full 50 overs.

The next flurry of wickets fell to the impressive Luke Graham, picking up 2-25 off his ten overs, and Glyn Treagus, who was equally economical with his wily off spin.

However, a feature of the Andover season has been an inability to kill an innings off and this reared it's ugly head again as Ryan Conor smeared a quick 31 at number nine to push the score to an about par 208-7.

James Knight claimed ‘Stoke's seventh wicket with a beautiful away swinging delivery.

The Andover run chase started in a bad fashion losing Ali Hooper early after he edged to the eagerly awaiting slip corden.

Taylor suffered a similar fate after making 19 and with Treagus and Max Souter back in the pavilion, Andover were reeling at 60-4.

Overseas star Byron Haycock, with one eye on the league's highest run scoring prize, along with Hadfield, started to steer the ship towards victory batted very sensibly, taking quick singles at every opportunity and putting the bad ball away when necessary.

Haycock raised his bat for his fifth half century of the season but then catastrophe struck as a misjudged single saw the South African fall short of his ground and trudging off for a handy 55.

Veteran Stuart Summers carried Haycock's baton with a blistering 29, including five boundaries from the burly batsman, and the visitors looked set for an impressive run chase until Summers was stumped going for another big hit.

The Andover tail struggled to reach the boundary ropes and singles were never going to be enough as they ended up just 25 runs short of their target.

Although not mathematically safe from relegation, results need to dramatically go against Andover on Saturday for relegation to become a reality.

A win against Hook and Newnham Basics will guarantee survival in the Southern Premier League Division 1.

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