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Wilson half-century pulls Bashley II out of the mire to win grand final

Bashley II's George Wilson smacked 58 not out (picture: Stephen Harris)
Bashley II's George Wilson smacked 58 not out (picture: Stephen Harris)

Southern Prem/Div One (West) Grand Final

Portsmouth & Southsea CC 149-7Bashley CC II 151-7

BASHLEY CC II’s George Wilson hit an unbeaten half-century to lead his side to a three-wicket victory over Portsmouth & Southsea CC to win the Southern Premier/Division One (West) grand final.

To minimise travel during the pandemic, Southern Premier Cricket League merged the teams from the Premier Division and Division One, and those from Divisions Two and Three, into East and West divisions, with the league winners from each facing each other in a grand final. To qualify for the final, Bashley CC II topped the West table while Portsmouth & Southsea CC won the Wast.

The New Forest club, who lifted the Southern Premier League Division 3 title last season, made a terrible start to the run chase and found themselves in a perilous state of 62-6 while trying to chase down Portsmouth & Southsea’s 149-7.

With defeat looking likely, seam all-rounder Wilson joined 16-year-old Will Tripcony at the St James Park crease. Together the seventh-wicket pair almost doubled the Bashley total to 120-7 before Tripcony was bowled by left-arm spinner Kieron Dunstan (2-27) for 23.

Earlier, Jake Peach (2-33), Jon Willey (2-38) and the departing Chris Turrell (1-27) had ripped through the Bashley top order. With Bashley on 32-4, Tom Jacques (25) hit a six and three fours in an important knock.

Keiron Dunstan, who dismissed both Jacques and Tripcony, as well as new Portsmouth & Southsea skipper Ben Saunders, caused the Bashley batsmen plenty of problems on a spin-friendly surface. But once their respective spells had finished, Wilson took charge. He hit a six and seven fours in his 58 to score all but two of the next 30 runs Bashley needed to lift the trophy.

Portsmouth & Southsea’s 149-7 had largely been built around openers Matt Benfield (52) and Jack Davies (33), who put on 77 before Bashley’s own spinners got in on the act.

The openers fell to the spin of Simon Watkins (2-30) and the emerging Jacob Gordon (2-11) as Portsmouth & Southsea slumped to 94-4 when Benfield became the first of two smart stumpings by Bashley skipper Patrick Lewis.

Dean Lee (22) and Tom Benfield (19) added 42 before both fell victim to Simon Ridley (2-26) as Portsmouth & Southsea’s last three wickets went for 12 runs.

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