Hopson hits heights as Havant Bash high-fliers

Pete Hopson hits out against Bashley (Rydal)
Pete Hopson hits out against Bashley (Rydal)
Tom Alsop hit 32. Picture: Neil Marshall

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In-form batsman Pete Hopson was at a loss to explain his batting purple patch as Havant stormed to the top of the Southern Electric Premier League.

Just seven days after his 142 against Andover, the Southern League’s equivalent of Alastair Cook blasted 82 from 103 balls with nine fours as Havant’s seven-wicket win over Bashley (Rydal) saw them leapfrog the leaders to reach the premier division summit.

Hopson, who enjoyed a 149-run opening stand with Ben Walker (81), has already crashed through the 700-run barrier in all cricket this season and averages exactly 50 in league games from seven innings.

And while the 22-year-old is at a loss to explain his rich vein of form, he is determined to make it last.

Hopson said: ‘I’m not too sure why it’s going well at the moment.

‘I had some good sessions over the winter.

‘I’ve made a couple of minor technical changes but nothing significant.

‘But I’ve just scored runs in the past three innings and it happens sometimes in cricket where you go through purple patches.

‘I know that I could go duck, duck, duck in the next three innings.

‘I will just try to take advantage of it as long as it lasts.

‘Having got to 82, I was disappointed not to get another hundred but it was probably an ambitious shot. I can’t be too disappointed if we win and go top of the table, though.’

Bashley posted 242 for eight, having looked in the driving seat at 137 for two. But with Havant’s spin attack dominating, the New Forest outfit lost momentum as they tried to put their foot down.

Stuart Ransley (four for 77) and skipper Richard Hindley (two for 71) put the brakes on Bashley before the Havant openers rattled along.

Walker struck 11 fours and one six before he picked out the fielder at mid-wicket, while Hopson also departed with a century in sight with an ambitious stroke that was pouched at extra cover.

Hopson said: ‘I tried to go over extra cover and I slapped it straight at the fielder.

‘I had a few strong words with myself afterwards!’

With the foundations built by the openers, Ransley (49 not out) steered the side home to give Havant food for thought on their aspirations for the rest of the campaign, especially with Chris Morgan returning to the fold from university in the near future.

Hopson said: ‘We’re just pleased with where we’re going.

‘Some people were predicting us to be fighting off relegation before the season started, so to be at the top is amazing.

‘We’ve played some really positive cricket and we’re just riding along with it.

‘Theoretically, we could make a title push but we will just take it game by game and see where it takes us.’