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Mike Vimpany (Daily Echo)
August 21, 2003
What a different atmosphere there could be tomorrow evening in Totton's two premier cricket clubs whose grounds lie less than two miles apart.
At Southern Gardens, BAT Sports will be celebrating the recapture of the ECB Southern Electric Premier League championship trophy from Havant if they win their penultimate 50-over match at Liphook & Ripsley.
But at nearby Loperwood Park, Calmore Sports could be in mourning - if they fail to win their bottom-of-the-table battle with Portsmouth. Both matches start at 1 o'clock.
BAT, who have fitness worries over James Schofield and Mark Page, need 18 more points to make sure Bournemouth cannot overhaul them.
But that will become mathematically irrelevant if the second-placed Dorset club fail to glean anything less than a maximum 22-point return from a testing trip to Havant.
Liphook, safe with nothing to play for save pride, are unlikely to provide undue resistance to BAT's title claim.
But Havant, facing their lowest finishing point for many years, are determined to complete a treble over Bournemouth, whom they upstaged in the recent SEC Cup final at the Rose Bowl.
There is an outside chance that Richard Hindley, who broke two fingers during his Hampshire heroics against Glamorgan in June, could play for Havant.
Calmore expect to be more or less back to full strength for the do-or-die clash against Portsmouth, who appear to be in some junior section disarray - a factor that could affect their Premier 1 accreditation status.
"We've got to pull out all the stops and produce our best performance of the season tomorrow," said Calmore all-rounder James Hibberd.
"It's a day when people's characters have got to shine through. We've got the ability to win - so let's go and do it."
Calmore lie 29 points behind Portsmouth, whose last match is at Havant. Calmore finish at Andover.
The Hampshire Academy, one of three sides chasing third spot, have switched their match with Andover from the Rose Bowl to London Road.
Teenager James France, who has taken 22 wickets in his debut season for Bashley (Rydal) 2nd XI, gets rare Premier 1 outing against South Wilts at Bemerton.
Bashley's aim is to finish in third spot for a third season in a row, but captain Matt King knows it's far from straight-forward.
"It looks like we find ourselves in contesting third spot with Havant and the Hampshire Academy, so we have a mini-battle to focus on for the last fortnight of the season," he said.
King remains top Premier 1 wicket-taker, with 36 victims, compared with Kevin Nash's 31.
When Mitchell Johnson hit Virat Kohli on the helmet with a bouncer, Australian fielders came from everywhere. Mental disintegration had gone, replaced by the cricket unity. Two teams, one family.
From the bouncer that struck him on the badge of his helmet to the bouncer that dismissed him, Virat Kohli's century, and his duel with Mitchell Johnson, made for compelling human drama