Havant to go all-out attack

Havant's Josh McCoy
Havant's Josh McCoy

Hampshire sign Middlesex spinner Ollie Rayner on loan

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captain Ben Walker has pledged an attacking approach as Havant start a period of Southern League premier division timed games at South Wilts.

Top-flight clubs have been playing split format 50-over and all-day cricket since 2001 – the longer time games being played in June and July.

Current champions South Wilts have dominated the all-day game, winning the time pennant seven times in the past eight years.

The only time they didn’t win it was in 2011 when Havant took their crown.

Walker would love to see his side repeat that success but knows it will take a massive effort.

‘Starting the nine-week stint of all-day cricket against South Wilts is a big test for us,’ said Walker.

‘This will be our biggest examination as a group of players yet this season.

‘It is good that we are going into the game in such good form.

‘We have been second best to them in recent times and they have shown everyone else how it should be played.

‘Our aim is to set out to win games whatever the format and will play as aggressively as we can to try and achieve that.

‘In this format, though, there will be times when we may have to sit tight and take what we can.’

Havant have won all three games so far this season, including a rout of Ventnor at Havant Park in their last league outing.

They repeated the feat 24 hours later at Steephill with a 206-run victory to reach the Hampshire final of the ECB National Cup, where they will face South Wilts.

At Steephill, Josh McCoy was in magnificent form crashing 198 runs from 99 balls, including 22 fours and 11 sixes.

There have been some outstanding individual performances this season but Walker puts their success so far down to a workmanlike team approach.

‘We have a good mix of experience and youthful exuberance,’ said Walker.

Unbeaten Burridge will be favourites to maintain their winning run as they cross the Solent to meet struggling Ventnor.

Hampshire Academy host Bashley (Rydal).