Southern Premier Division: Lymington CC 169-8 v Bashley CC 172-6 (Bashley win by four wickets)
BASHLEY are only 12 points away from their maiden Southern Premier title after a convincing victory over local rivals Lymington at the BCG.
George Pardoe took 5-22 as Lymington stumbled to 23-6 in the first innings. However, a revival from Matt Metcalfe (76*) and Dominic Hand (42) saw the visitors reach 169-8.
Bashley were never troubled in the second innings with Tom Friend and Ben Walker both scoring 36 to see the hosts over the line with 13 overs to spare.
Bashley won the toss and elected to field after the heavy rain that had descended the night before. Lymington got off to a slow start as they cautiously saw off Bashley’s leading wicket-taker, Bradley Currie.
However, it was Pardoe from the other end who dominated throughout the innings. He removed the top five batsmen for 5-22 during his ten-over spell, and in tandem with Mitch Wilson, Bashley were comfortably on top.
Wilson (2-40) trapped Henry Edwards and Ross Whyte LBW in quick succession to leave the visitors struggling on 23-6.
Lymington, who were bowled out for 48 in their previous meeting with Bashley earlier in the season, scrapped to salvage a respectable score. Captain Metcalfe led by example with top-order batsman Hand as the pair put on a 104-run partnership before Hand became Pardoe’s fifth victim, eight runs short of his half-century.
Metcalfe batted through for an unbeaten 76 which included 10 fours and a six to give Lymington a glimmer of hope at 169-8 after their allotted overs.
Despite losing wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Jacques for nine after he was caught off Metcalfe’s bowling, Bashley kept their composure throughout their run chase. They had a small blip at 72-3 after Alex Turner was run out by spinner Adie Hunt and Michael Porter was caught off Ryan Scott.
However, Friend, who was ably assisted by Walker, smashed five sixes in his 15-ball 36 to push Bashley towards victory. After Walker and Friend both departed, Pardoe and Wilson were left to knock off the winning runs and seal a crucial win in their title hunt.
Bashley will secure the title on Saturday with an away win against mid-table Bournemouth.