Ollie Jones picked up the first hat-trick of his Havant career and smiled: Maybe they will let me bowl a bit more now.
The 29-year-old batsman was afforded a rare spell with the ball and then grabbed three wickets in consecutive deliveries for the first time in his 16 years at the club.
His efforts helped Havant II record a 39-run win over South Wilts II in Southern Electric Premier League division three.
Jones, who splits his time between Havant firsts and the seconds throughout the season, failed with the bat when he managed only two runs in the Havant total of 199 for seven as skipper Andy Galliers (78 not out) top scored.
But Jones surprised everyone when he came to the fore with the ball, ripping through the South Wilts batting line-up to fire Havant II to to the top of the table with a third straight win.
Jones said: ‘I’m a bit-part bowler. The last time I actually bowled in a game was last August.
‘So I was as surprised as anyone when Andy asked me to bowl a couple of overs.
‘He said he just wanted a couple of overs from me to break things up – and then I got a triple-wicket maiden.
‘Half of the time I don’t really know what I’m going to do myself. I just try to bowl straight with a bit of pace.
‘But there was a bit of moisture in the pitch and that helped my skiddy medium-pacers.
‘And I had to do something because I hadn’t done much with the bat earlier!’
A superb one-handed catch from Chris Wade at cover started the ball rolling before Jones, who ended with figures of four for 32, then bowled Rob Wade for his second wicket.
Jones said: ‘Chris Wade took an amazing one-handed catch at cover for the first wicket.
‘I think we were all on a high from that.
‘I’ve played against Rob Wade for years and I bowled him first ball through the gate.
‘But I wasn’t really thinking about a hat-trick until I turned round for my run-up and saw four slips and a gully, which you can only dream about.
‘The third one was a yorker for lbw and then it was very football-like.
‘People were running in all directions and I heard people in the pavilion screaming. Then everyone just bundled me.
‘I’ve scored 100 against BAT a few years ago.
‘But it’s right up there with that, even though this was in second-team cricket.’
Jones also believes Havant II can sustain their challenge for promotion.
He said: ‘We’ve got some good younger players coming through.
‘There is a good spirit and if they can keep that consistency, I don’t see any reason why we can’t do very well this season.’