LOCKS HEATH are boosted by the return of leading wicket-taker James Griffiths for their vital Hampshire League division one relegation battle at Ropley.
Visiting captain Jack Paskins believes the presence of Griffiths will increase his side’s chances of picking up a crucial win.
‘James is fairly quick and, although he can go for a few runs, is a wicket-taker,’ said Paskins.
‘It is a shame we have a few players away for this game – either working, on holiday or at the Test Match.
‘Frustratingly, we have lost at least three matches in the final over this summer.
‘It is important we start turning those narrow defeats into wins.’
Fareham & Crofton will hope home advantage will help them become the first team to lower the colours of unbeaten league leaders Fair Oak.
Purbrook are seeking a fourth consecutive win as they take on fourth-placed OTs & Romsey at the Heath.
Portsmouth & Southsea are involved in a mid-table contest against Ellingham at Picket Post.
Portchester can leap-frog Sarisbury Athletic II into the top six if they can return from Hook & Newnham Basics II with a win.
Jon Floyd will be looking for a better batting performance from his Sarisbury side at New Milton II.
Sarisbury’s promotion ambitions were badly dented by a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Purbrook.
‘Our top batsmen all got in without going on to make the big scores they are capable of,’ said Floyd.
‘If we want to stand a chance of getting promoted we just have to keep winning.’
Hayling Island are hoping the sea air of a Solent crossing to Ventnor II can inspire them to a first win of the summer.
In division two, the battle for the title is turning into a dogfight with Bishop’s Waltham, United Services, Petersfield and Bedhampton Mariners all still in with a shout.
Bishop’s Waltham should shrug off the disappointment of their second loss of the season by beating bottom club Bransgore.
United Services can expect to face a far more difficult task at third-placed Hungerford, while Martin Hovey’s Bedhampton have the ability to bounce back to winning ways against lowly Liphook & Ripsley II at Bidbury Mead.
Fourth-placed Petersfield play host to mid-table Amport, eager to close the gap on league leaders Waltham.