|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Mike Vimpany (Daily Echo)
August 14, 2003
"There's plenty of hard work for us to do yet". That's the stern dressing room reminder skipper Richard Dibden will give his BAT Sports team before tomorrow's key ECB Southern Electric Premier League clash with Havant.
A maximum of 38 points from the last three matches will be enough to bring the crown back to Southern Gardens.
But, on the eve of the club's biggest weekend in years, captain Dibden plans a few home truths in his players ears.
"Everyone seems to think the championship is a foregone conclusion, but that's not the case at all," he warned.
"If we lose to Havant it's back in the melting pot, though we do back ourselves to get the points we need."
BAT, who have sold over 1,000 tickets for Sunday's clash with Lashings, will be at full strength.
Havant say their farewells to all-rounder Bev Moynan, whose career as a physical trainer is taking him to Cambridgeshire.
Neal Parlane may have 884 runs to his name - and be within 131 runs of breaking Robin Smith's long-standing Southern League record - but the Kiwi has yet to make his mark against Havant.
"We got him for 16 in the drawn all-day game at our place and had him caught for four in the SEC Cup semi-final," smiled Havant skipper Paul Gover. "I think we've got the Indian Sign over him !"
For once, defending champions Havant aren't BAT's biggest challengers.
Bournemouth, who look to have a home banker against Calmore Sports at Chapel Gate, lie second - and lead the Limited Overs Pennant table.
One-time skipper Stuart Rintoul, who scored 121 for Dorset against Devon in the Minor Counties Championship last weekend, is set for a rare Bournemouth appearance.
Teenager Nick Park drops out to aid Bournemouth 2nd XI's Hampshire League promotion cause at Lymington.
Calmore Sports are effectively 23 points adrift at the basement but, with Portsmouth still to play, can still retrieve a seemingly lost cause.
They need the Hampshire Academy to beat Portsmouth at St Helen's tomorrow - and for the Young Hawks to produce a far better performance than against Bournemouth last week.
Having just won the Time Pennant, they produced a rank bad show in their first 50-over game back and lost by nine wickets.
Portsmouth, with a major injury doubt over Matt Keech, have to do without left-hand opener Ben Thane, who has been suspended for 14 days for verbal abuse at an umpire.
Thane sat out Portsmouth's defeat at Bashley last week and completes his ban tomorrow.
Third-placed Bashley (Rydal), who visit Andover, may call up Ross Grierson as 35-wicket skipper Matt King and Kevin Nash (30) continue to vye for the Premier 1 bowling prize.
South Wilts visit Liphook & Ripsley.
In January 2005, Shane Watson made his Test debut. What does he have to show for a decade in the game?
As ever, the West Indies board has taken the short-term view and removed supposedly troublesome players instead of recognising its own incompetence
Australia's new captain admirably turned things around for his side in Brisbane, leading in more departments than one
For the first hour on day three, despite the heat and the largely unhelpful pitch, India's fast bowlers showed a level of intensity and penetration rarely seen from them; in the second hour, things mostly reverted to type
Bowlers who have been around for plenty of time but haven't played in cricket's biggest show
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers
To consider banning it in the wake of Phillip Hughes' death may be knee-jerk, but to refuse to consider the pros and cons of a ban is unwise