July 13, 2003

South Wilts v Hampshire Academy

Kevin Baker

Lightning struck twice in a week as a thrilling last wicket partnership between James Manning and Giles White again rescued the Academy from enbarrassment; failing to secure a winning draw by less than .1 of a run.

South Wilts won an important toss and elected to take first use of a pitch that didn't play as well as it looked; often subjecting the batsmen to "tennis ball" bounce. Having lost opener Rowe in the first over with no runs on the board, South Wilts made steady, if unspectacular, progress against a persevering Academy attack.

Jamie Glasson rather rode his luck in making a valuable 74 (136 balls, 11 fours), supported in the main by Paul Draper (34) and latterly Tim Lamb with a well-organized 47 who became the second man to be run out taking on the arm of Mitchell Stokes on the deep cover boundary. South Wilts used the maximum number of overs allowed; Matthew Metcalfe (4-54) being the pick of the Academy bowlers, well supported by the leg spin of Ian Hilsum (2-56), having his first long bowl of the season.

Again the young Hawks made a disastrous start, being at various stages 27-3 and 58-6; only Tom Burrows (22) achieving double figures. However, a 7th wicket stand of 37 between Hilsum (37 in 47 balls, 1 five, 6 fours) and David Griffiths pushed the Academy towards respectability.

When Hilsum was brilliantly caught at short third man Hampshire were soon back in deep trouble at 114-9. Again the impressive Giles White joined his junior partner James Manning in another match-turning partnership; White mixing aggression with defence and farming of the strike in the, by now, somewhat cold and gloomy conditions for the first week in July. This was carried out so successfully against the tiring opening bowlers Senneck (4-66) and Seeary (3-48), who bowled 36 of the 54 overs between them, that the last over -bravely bowled by spinner and captain Draperwas reached with the Academy requiring another 8 runs to achieve a winning draw.

White took 3 off the first ball before Manning used up another 3 balls in securing another single. The Academy Captain managed to again paddle-sweep 2 more runs off the fifth ball before only succeeding in on driving a single off the last in scenes of great excitement.

Having put on 79 runs for the tenth wicket Manning and White lived to rue a decision of "one short" given by umpire Harrison as the Academy pair attempted a swift 2 early on in their partnership; a decision that meant the extra 5 points for a winning draw went to South Wilts.