Baker rises to the challenge with vital knock

Luke Gould
Luke Gould
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Shaun Baker made his presence felt on his first appearance of the summer for Fareham & Crofton.

The South African-born batsman showed inspired form as his team recorded a 96-run success against Shrewton in Hampshire League division one.

After a hesitant start by the home side, Baker cracked 85 runs off 60 balls.

Captain Luke Gould, watching from the sidelines because of a two-match club ban, admitted putting Baker straight in at number four was a bit of a gamble.

But he felt the move proved justified.

‘It was a gamble that paid off,’ said Gould.

‘The opposition decided to bowl short at him and he took them apart.

‘We were in a bit of trouble at 40 for two but he and Tom Kent (61) put us back on track.

‘Shaun is a handy addition and adds to our batting firepower.’

The home side were eventually bowled out for 227.

However, with the sunshine beaming down, Shrewton’s time in the field took its toll and they fell well short.

Stand-in captain Ben Kissane (three for 39) and Gary Wylde (three for 19) were on song.

Bowler Craig Stares (three for 29) helped Gosport Borough skittle out hosts Midhurst for 153, setting up a seven-wicket win.

With Borough captain Lee Harrop struggling with a groin injury, Michael Jenkins stepped up to open the batting in fine fashion. Jenkins (67 not out) and New Zealander Andrew Tiddy (32 not out) steered Borough home.

‘There is a totally different atmosphere in the dressing room now after a couple of wins,’ said Harrop.

‘All the doom and gloom of last month has disappeared.’

Waterlooville’s South African run-machine Byron Haycock failed for the first time this summer.

He was out for a duck but his side still recorded a ninth successive win.

Alex Shephard (47), David Howe (61), captain Jon Hudson (34) and Maxwell Godard (34) showed the depth in ’Ville’s batting as they beat Ventnor II by 85 runs.

Purbrook lost by seven wickets at unbeaten Ellingham.