Star all-rounder returns for Locks Heath

Matt Benfield, centre. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150997-820)
Matt Benfield, centre. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150997-820)
Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Locks Heath captain Jack Paskins is boosted by the return of all-rounder Mohsin Sabri for the crucial Hampshire League division one derby against Fareham & Crofton tomorrow.

Paskins believes his team can use their narrow loss to unbeaten leaders Fair Oak as a springboard towards safety.

Heath gave Fair Oak a scare before succumbing to a two-wicket defeat.

‘It was the best we have played,’ said Paskins.

‘Fair Oak were a bit worried at one stage but we were about 20 runs short of what we needed.

‘Although we lost, everyone felt quite positive afterwards.

‘It is vital we win one, if not both of our next two games.

‘We have a strong team out this weekend and Mohsin is probably our best bowler.’

Portsmouth & Southsea are without Kieran Dunstan and Matt Smith for their home contest against Ropley.

Matt Benfield will take over the reins.

‘It has been a mixed bag of a season so far,’ said Dunstan.

‘We have lost a couple of games we should have won but had a good win over Fareham & Crofton.’

Winless Hayling Island host fellow strugglers New Milton II, while Portchester entertain Ellingham at Cams Hill.

Fresh from their fine five-wicket success against OTs & Romsey, Burridge II face a visit to rampant Fair Oak.

In division two, leaders Bishop’s Waltham face a tricky test against Amport at Albany Road.

‘Amport have already beaten two top teams in Hungerford and United Services, so we can’t afford to underestimate them,’ said captain Dan Wheeler.

‘We have bounced back with two wins after our first defeat but there is a job still to be done.’

Gareth Lovett returns for the unavailable Sam Medhurst.

Second-placed Services hope to enjoy home comforts at Burnaby Road as Andover II visit the south coast.

Bedhampton Mariners can keep the pressure on the leading pair by winning at Basingstoke & North Hants III.

Martin Hovey’s side narrowly missed out on promotion last season and are looking to go one better this time around.