Southern Premier Division: Bashley (Rydal) CC 214 v Hampshire Academy 218-3 (Hampshire Academy win by seven wickets)
BASHLEY CC suffered a blow to their title chances following a seven-wicket defeat to the Hampshire Academy.
Tom Prest and George Metzger shared a 139-run partnership as the Academy cruised past Bashley’s 214 all out with comfort.
Bashley’s second defeat of the season saw their lead over Lymington at the top of the ECB Southern Premier Division title trimmed to 11 points.
Bashley never looked comfortable in their innings and were on the back foot when makeshift opening pair Tom Jacques and Alex Turner were removed before the score got into double figures.
Michael Porter (48) steadied the ship, adding 56 with Ben Walker, who was desperate for a return to form having made only 23 runs in his past five knocks.
Tom Friend (56) did his best to glue the middle-order together, his partnership with Chris Vaughan (17) taking Bashley to 128-4 before the Academy’s spin attack created further inroads, three more wickets falling for 14 runs.
The subsequent 82-run partnership between George Wilson (29) and George Pardoe (41*) ensured Bashley had a reasonable total to defend, but Ajeet Dale (4-40) took the last three wickets in four balls to negate them to 214 all out.
Prest took the initiative for the Academy, scoring 37, while Tom South and Fletcha Middleton departed, but those dismissals were the last joy Bashley enjoyed for some while.
The Canford youngster found life easy out in the middle, hitting one six and nine fours, and enjoying the century stand with ECB Young Lions-bound Metzger, who also breached the boundary rope nine times.
Shortly after completing his fifth hundred of the season, Prest fell to the part-time spin of Alex Turner, one of eight bowlers Porter tried in a vain attempt to stave off defeat.