HAVANT’S batsmen have been urged to put greater value to their own wickets as they aim to make the most of their Southern Electric Premier Legaue premier division revival.
After leaders South Wilts were surprisingly thrashed by Lymington last week, Havant’s win over Burridge narrowed the gap at the top of the table to just six points ahead of the trip to St Cross.
But that psychological boost then suffered a setback when they were knocked out of the ECB Club Championship at Roffey 24 hours later with player-coach Pete Hopson asking questions of the batsmen – including himself – over their application.
Hopson, who also opens the batting, said: ‘As the top four, we didn’t take enough responsibility for our wickets.
‘We left too much for the middle order to do. We need to take more responsibility as batters.
‘I’m not in the best of nick at the moment but even if I score slowly, I can’t throw my wicket away.
‘And I did throw my wicket away in the game at Roffey.’
With three defeats in the league campaign so far, Havant are also keen to restore some parity having surprisingly gone down to St Cross in the reverse fixture.
Hopson said: ‘It’s not about revenge but it’s about getting another win and putting the pressure on South Wilts.
‘St Cross hit a six off the last ball to win and we all remember that.
‘Adam Rouse batted really well and there were a couple of key points that we learned from that game.
‘We need to get Rouse and Michael Pollard out as cheaply as possible.
‘And we have to bat well on their deck which has not produced a great deal of runs this year.’
Havant certainly have men in form with the bat, though.
Chris Stone struck a fine 67 from just 39 balls in the cup defeat last weekend, while Rob Gibson returns to the side after missing last weekend’s fixtures.
Wicketkeeper Jez Bulled and Steve Matthews also return, while Stone is available for league action.
Hopson said: ‘Chris Stone and Harry Hovey batted fantastically at Roffey to get us back in the game.
‘While they were there, we were in with a sniff.
‘Chris’ knock was an absolute blitz and one of the best short innings I’ve seen.
‘It was full of clean ball-striking and even though it was a small ground, they would have been sixes on a first-class ground.
‘It is always disappointing to lose because we were one game away from making it down to the last eight in the country.
‘But we’re still in the hunt for two competitions and we have got plenty to play for.
‘We’ve got some big games coming up and we need to be ready. There is nowhere to hide.’