LAST year’s Southern Premier League champions Bashley CC could not make a winning return as they were edged out with the last ball of the game in their first fixture of the season to Andover at the BCG.
Opening batsman Alex Turner, Tim Taylor and new signing Harry Fisher all passed 50 but their total of 211-6 was surpassed with Mike Adams hitting two off the final ball of the Andover innings to give them a two-wicket victory.
Bashley were without several key members of their title-winning squad for their first fixture. Leading run-scorer Tom Friend, seamer Brad Currie, Ben Walker, George Pardoe and Ross Grierson were all unavailable for the opening fixture which handed debuts to Fisher, spinner Dom Clutterbuck and pace-bowler Sam Crisp.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Bashley looked to pick up from where they left off last season.
Skipper Michael Porter opened the batting alongside Turner but they were stopped in their tracks when Porter was caught for 19 off Adams’ bowling.
However, Turner and incoming batsman Taylor were able to see off the new ball and put the hosts in a commanding position. They put on 93 for the second wicket before Alex Turner departed for a well-made 56.
Mitch Wilson went cheaply which brought former Lymington wicketkeeper Harry Fisher to the crease. Taylor was sent back to the pavilion after he was stumped by Alex Ayers off Matt Hooper shortly after making his half-century but Fisher impressed in his debut for Bash as he finished 50 not out off 36 balls which included six fours.
With 211 on the board, Bashley looked to halt the Andover chase with early wickets. M. Wilson bowled opener Glyn Treagus for 10 to leave the visitors 17-1.
Things did not get much better for Andover as wickets fell in regular intervals. George Wilson claimed Alex Ayers before Clutterbuck stuck twice on debut to reduce the visitors to 62-4.
With G. Wilson claiming two wickets in two balls and spinner Josh Digby removing middle-order batsman Nathan Birks for 18, the home side were well on top and closing in on an opening day win.
However, number five Charlie Ayers fought back for Andover and managed to drag his side to within touching distance. His boundary-strewn innings of 91 not out left Andover needing five runs off the last over to snatch victory.
After only a single from the first three balls, the visitors needed four from the last three. Two more singles from consecutive balls left tailender Adams on strike for the final ball against Digby. Adams managed to get the ball away and the pair scampered through for the required two runs to condemn Bashley to an opening-day defeat.
Bashley will look to bounce back tomorrow when they travel to St. Cross Symondians in the Premier West division.