BAT Sports are firmly on course to regain the ECB Southern Electric Premier League championship crown from Havant.

With seven matches remaining - three of them `time' games and four 50-over affairs - they are effectively 37 points clear at the top.

The championship race swung dramatically in BAT's favour as Havant, the defending champions, crashed to a six-wicket defeat against a Matt King inspired Bashley (Rydal).

BAT thrashed struggling Portsmouth by nine wickets - their sixth win in eight Division 1 matches - with New Zealander Neal Parlane leading the way.

Portsmouth, the club who predicted a championship challenge before a ball was bowled, sank from 58-1 to 74-5 against Chris Thomason (3-40) and Dan Goldstraw (3-47).

Pete Hayward (30) and Paul Ancell pulled things around but a total of 123 was never likely to test BAT - and so it proved.

Parlane, predictably, led from the front blasting a boundary-strewn 81 not out as BAT raced to a nine-wicket win in just 18.1 overs.

Gareth Tate and Toby Radford produced sparkling performances as Andover heightened Liphook & Ripsley's survival fears with a three-wicket victory at London Road.

Tate, the South African born off-spinner, came into his own after Alistair Gray (43) and Duncan Berry (51) had eased Liphook to 106-3.

Mark Miller (3-21), who has got his bowling action back together under the critical eye of coach Nigel Noyce, grabbed the first three Liphook wickets.

But it was Tate who broke the partnership by having Gray caught and, after Berry had fallen to Richard Taylor, who threaded his way through a dogged lower order to finish with figures of 5-64.

Andover, chasing 191, quickly slipped to 12-2 but Radford, finding reliable partners in Roger Miller (26) and Taylor (28), fought off the threat of Alan Crawford (3-42) to hit an accomplished 90 and win the game for the North Hampshire side.