Havant come through Gosport scare

Blake Maher.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (150826-01)
Blake Maher. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150826-01)
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HAVANT survived a scare from Gosport Borough as they came through their Southern Electric t20 Cup clash.

The premier division powerhouses were expected to make light work of their division three opponents in a competition they last won in 2011.

But it was not quite the comfortable victory many had predicted with Borough putting up a spirited display before eventually going down by 32 runs.

Although some anticipated a Havant innings threatening the 200-barrier, the batsmen struggled to get going on a turning pitch that had been used the previous day in the league win over Bashley.

Rob Gibson, who shone in the win over the New Forest club, was again in good nick at the top of the order as he hit 34.

But only Chris Morgan (24) and Ben Walker (20) managed to get past the 20-mark as Havant were bowled out in the final over for 149.

Borough skipper Tom Larner (three for 34) and Australian overseas all-rounder Blake Maher (two for 28) were the pick of the bowlers.

And Maher also looked in great form with the bat as Gosport got away to a flyer in their reply.

Maher (36) and Lee Harrop (39) put on 71 for the first wicket to raise hopes of a major upset.

But once skipper Stuart Ransley (two for 28) and Morgan (three for nine) dismissed the openers, it started the procession with Borough losing all 10 wickets for just 46 runs as they were bowled out for 117.

Player-coach Pete Hopson admitted Gosport had given his side a few concerns.

He said: ‘They gave us a scare for the first eight overs of their innings.

‘Once we got their opening pair, we felt a bit more comfortable.

‘Their Aussie, Blake Maher, can clearly whack a long ball and we weren’t at our best in the first six overs by any means.

‘He seemed very capable of hitting it anywhere between straight and square leg when he wanted and it took us a while to adjust our lines and lengths.

‘We then played some really good cricket and we were in control after that.

‘We used the same pitch as we did on Saturday so the ball was turning quite a lot.

‘It probably wasn’t going to be a wicket that would produce a really big score.

‘But we didn’t bat particularly well and should have done better.

‘We had a few people get in but nobody went on to get a big one.

‘It’s our first t20 game since the Lymington semi-final last year.

‘I’m not too surprised we were a bit rusty in that format.’

Hopson also enjoyed success after a rare opportunity with the ball.

After collecting fugures of two for nine in what he called a ’rapid’ spell of medium pace, Hopson said: ‘I go for a Ravi Bopara-style of t20 bowling just try to bowl full and straight and both wickets were caught at long on.

‘The plans were executed brilliantly!’

Quarter-final draw: Bashley v St Cross, Hampshire Academy v Sarisbury Athletic, Liphook & Ripsley v South Wilts, Paultons v Havant