An exceptional century from South Wilts’ skipper Tom Morton (121) condemned Hampshire Academy to a 71-run defeat in their Southern Electric Premier League fixture at South Wilts.
Morton had initially guided the hosts to an impressive 288-5d, as his innings, coming off just 125 balls, saw a daunting total posted, despite Mason Crane’s (3-99) efforts.
In reply, the loss of early wickets meant Hampshire stuttered early on, and although Brad Taylor (59*) and Crane (47) provided them with a glimmer of hope, the visitors eventually came up well short of the required total.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, South Wilts began positively as Morton built his score quickly from the off having had a large portion of the early strike.
Despite the loss of opening partner Eddie Abel (7), Morton continued to attack and a valuable 112-run partnership with Jack Mynott (48) saw the home side reach a healthy 176-2.
The confident Morton continued with his fine stroke-play and he brought up his excellent hundred with less than 40 overs gone, however Crane ensured Hampshire fought back admirably as he dismissed Mynott and the danger-man Morton to reduce the opposition to 190-3.
The away-side will have been hoping for more quick wickets to restrict South Wilts further but two aggressive cameo innings’ from James Hayward (37) and Ryan Duffield (41*) saw a late charge boost the total to just shy of 300.
Hampshire began their chase in unconvincing fashion and as regular wickets fell throughout the opening stages of the innings, Joe Weatheley’s side soon found themselves struggling on 88-5.
Taylor spearheaded the fightback as he and Mason Crane put together a 66-run stand for the seventh wicket, however when Crane eventually departed to the efficient James Hibberd (3-15) at 193-7, the visitors chances faded further.
The final three wickets fell for the addition of just 24 runs to conclude a dominant win for the league leaders, with Hampshire hoping that a better result against Sarisbury next week will see them rise from fourth.
Words; Will Brewster