Hindley targets grandstand finish

Stuart Ransley batting for Havant against Bashley at Havant Park
Stuart Ransley batting for Havant against Bashley at Havant Park
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Richard Hindley has demanded his Havant troops focus on a big finish to the season following their recent taste of both glorious success and heartbreaking failure.

After the defending Southern Electric Premier League champions reached the semi-finals of the ECB Kingfisher Cup last weekend, the Havant skipper guided his men to a draw with Bashley (Rydal) in the league – just two days after the two sides fought out a thrilling encounter in the T20 Cup final at the Ageas Bowl.

Hindley’s side went down to the New Forest club off the final ball of the game on Thursday night in a super-over eliminator after the scores finished level.

But while their league clash was rather more attritional, the two sides could not be separated again as Havant were bowled out for 188, before Bashley closed on 142 for six in reply to share the spoils.

Hindley said: ‘It’s great to be in the semi-finals of the national cup and it’s a big highlight for the club.

‘The t20 final was a sensational game of cricket and it came down to one ball.

‘We would have loved to have won it but we didn’t, so it was very annoying to lose.

‘Everybody was very disappointed not to have won but we turned up to get back to the regular cricket and just enjoyed it again.

‘It’s been a tough week for us in terms of having to play a number of matches.

‘I think it’s five in seven or eight days. So it’s been a tough run but it’s been great fun.

‘And there is still plenty left to play for this season.’

Stuart Ransley (61) was the only top-order Havant batsman to make a sizeable contribution and, at 148 for eight, the champions seemed destined for a rare home defeat.

But Steve Matthews (31) and Finn Hoolahan (20) added a vital 40 runs for the ninth wicket as Bashley’s Ross Grierson (five for 68) did most of the damage with the ball.

In reply, Hindley (three for 33) and Matthews (three for 49) hauled Havant back into the game, with Bashley reduced to 16 for three early in the innings.

Richard Morris (53) and Nick Baker (46 not out) stabilised their innings but, when Morris was out, Bashley shut up shop and played for the draw.

Hindley said: ‘I think they would have got close, if not won, if Richard Morris had stayed in. But once we got him out, they reassessed.

‘They had a little go at it and then stopped.

‘We played well, we stuck at our task and I was really pleased with the way we played the whole day.

‘There were obviously elements we would have liked to have improved but we worked very hard.

‘Looking at the league, I think the points table is well stacked in South Wilts’ favour but we still have the Kingfisher Cup to go for and we are just looking to finish the season as well as we possibly can.’