Purbrook impress against Bedhampton

Bedhampton's Ben De Jong batting against Purbrook.  Picture: Sarah Standing (111785-4293)
Bedhampton's Ben De Jong batting against Purbrook. Picture: Sarah Standing (111785-4293)
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Purbrook made it two wins from two in Hampshire League division one with a five-wicket derby victory over Bedhampton at Bidbury Mead.

Captain Stephen Mitchell saw his side battle back after nearly throwing the game away.

And, in contrast to previous seasons, he believes his players are now showing a winning mentality.

‘Historically, we have not been very good at chasing down totals and in the past we would have ended up 30 or 40 runs short,’ said Mitchell.

‘After winning both our opening games, though, I can sense the team feel they can do something in this league this year.

‘With two home games to come, we have an excellent chance of keeping the winning run going.

‘We made life difficult for ourselves at times, conceding 42 extras, including 33 wides, and then suffering a wobble in our middle-order batting but, in the end, Aaron Dean got us over the line.’

Batting first, Bedhampton lost opener Ben De Jong early on when he left a straight ball from Mitchell.

They recovered as Martin ‘The Trojan’ Hovey (51) and Brad Mengham guided them to 140 after 30 overs.

The visitors kept chipping away, though, and, after Mengham was caught behind by his father Alan and Hovey also fell, Bedhampton collapsed to 195 all out.

Jordan Price, aged 17, was the pick of the Purbrook bowlers with a spell of three wickets for 24 off six overs.

Wily old off-spinner Ian Limb picked up two wickets for 12 runs.

Overseas bowler Brad Smith struggled in his first spell but returned to help clean up the tail with three wickets.

Jamie Mitchell and Alan Mengham gave Purbrook a flying start to their reply, reaching 75 without loss after 10 overs.

But, when the former was caught at square-leg trying to pull a short ball, the visitors suffered a mini collapse.

Sean Figgins and Brad Smith departed without scoring and Matt Lee hung around without firing the runs.

With Purbrook wobbling badly they needed a match-winning innings and it was duly provided by Aaron Dean (73 not out) who justified his promotion up the batting order.

‘Aaron has been hitting the ball well in pre-season so I pushed him up to number six,’ said Mitchell.

‘He showed last season that he can cope with being in a dicey situation and nothing fazes him.

‘It was a sensible innings where he waited for the bad balls to hit.

‘Along with Jamie Iles who contributed a vital 23 runs, they as good as, got us over the line.’

Bedhampton skipper Stewart Gardiner was upbeat about some of his team’s play.

‘It was a much-improved performance from us and we looked strong in certain areas,’ said Gardiner.

‘We went from looking like we were going to score 250 plus to 195 all out.

‘In their innings we had them in trouble with some fine bowling by Alex Gardiner (four for 20) but we let them off the hook.’