Bashley team: L-R Back row Gavin Bailiff Simon Watkins Neil Thurgood Andy Neal Tom Gates Kevin Nash
L-R Front row Sam Thomson Tom Jacques Michael Porter (capt) Chris Ridley Josh Digby
The eagerly awaited first league of the 2016 season saw Bashley (Rydal) welcome Lymington to a BCG bathed in sunshine and the ground itself looking in superb condition. Lymington skipper, Simon Beetham. won the toss and chose to field first and the Bashley opening pair of Neil Thurgood and Tom Gates put on 28 when Gates was bowled for 17, Tom Jacques (0) was adjudged to be LBW with the total on 32 and this brought the new Bashley captain, Michael Porter, to the crease who with Thurgood took the score to 68 when he fell, also LBW to Ed Freeman (3-42) for 22. Bashley’s Australian, Gavin Bailiff, then strode out and together with Porter had a 103 partnership until Porter smacked a short ball to mid wicket where Matt Metcalfe took a stunning catch off the bowling of C. Robertson for 61. 44 runs later with the total on 215 Bailiff became another LBW victim after scoring 80 off 78 balls (7 x 4’s & 2 x 6’s). Simon Watkins and Chris Ridley then had a run a ball stand of 31 with Watkins being bowled by the returning Metcalfe (1-52) for 35. Ridley was joined by Andy Neal and with both of them playing shots all round the wicket they took the total to 298-7 from 50 overs with Ridley scoring 38 not out off 33 balls and Neal taking 24 from only 14 deliveries.
Chasing such a formidable total was always going to challenging but the Lymington batsmen started with great aplomb and took the reply to 34 when B. Rogers was clean bowled by Kevin Nash for 14. D. Hand then had a partnership of 35 with C. Grierson when Hand was also bowled, this time by G. bailiff (2-65) and the score was 69-2. The contracted Hampshire man, Lewis McManus, joined Grierson but only 5 runs later he was brilliantly caught by M. Porter on the edge of the circle for 5 off the bowling of off spinner, Sam Thomson. Lymington then had a partnership of 82 between Grierson and Ed Ellis which ended when Grierson was stumped by Chris Ridley off the bowling of Josh Digby (2-51) for 39, Beetham soon went for 4 but Ellis was playing a wonderful innings full of improvisation but after scoring 140 off only 105 balls and taking Lymington to the brink of a remarkable win he was bowled by Bailiff with the score on 285-8. the innings then closed on 288-9 to leave Bashley winners by 10 runs after a fantastic game of cricket which could have gone either way. Full credit must also go to all the volunteer ground staff at Bashley for providing such a great pitch and outfield so early in the season.