Wright and Hill share 141-run stand as Sarisbury blow Southern Premier League Cup East group wide open

Jordan Wright’s maiden competitive hundred swept Sarisbury Athletic to a thrilling five-wicket victory over the Hampshire Academy – and split the Southern Premier League Cup East group wide open.

Sunday, 9th August 2020, 3:48 pm
Josh Hill's half century helped Sarisbury beat the Hampshire Academy in the SPL Cup East group. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

His unbeaten 102 eased Sarisbury to a penultimate over victory after the county youngsters had

posted a competitive 223-7.

It leaves St Cross Symondians 2nds – whom the Academy visit on Saturday (12.30) – as the only undefeated side in the nine-team group.

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Wright’s telling 141-run partnership with Josh Hill (63) was the key for Sarisbury, who looked as

though they were going to stroll it at 184-2.

But when Henry Petrie (3-31) broke the stand, they wobbled alarmingly and looked as though they might blow it.

Two more wickets fell, leaving Sarisbury to get 22 off the last three overs.

But Chris Sanders hit 12 runs off four deliveries as the Academy youngsters lost their nerve and with it a dramatic match with eight balls to spare.

Wright’s only other century had been for Sarisbury in a friendly against Bedhampton Mariners in August 2018.

His previous highest score in Southern League cricket has been just 36 two seasons ago.

Earlier, Wright had been influential with the ball, removing the in-form Tom Prest before denying

Fletcha Middleton his own maiden century at the tail end of the innings.

The left-handed son of former Hampshire opener Tony Middleton underpinned the Academy

innings, hitting a six and ten fours in a highest-yet 95, and sharing partnerships with Harry Broderick (30) and Hugh Wheeler (34).

George Metzger hit 38 before Tom Kitcher (3-44) struck three late blows before the Academy

innings closed at 223-7.

That was an intriguing score on Sarisbury’s compact Allotment Road ground where it

can be difficult to defend totals.

Sarisbury soon lost Sam Floyd to the lively left-arm of Ben Huntley (2-36), but Ricky Rawlins pinged a five-boundary 28 at a run a ball.

Wright and Hill came together at 43-2 and gradually turned the match in Sarisbury’s favour, getting on top as Wright cleared the boundary rope four times alongside his nine fours.

Hill - fresh from his blistering century against Burridge the previous week - hit two sixes and also nine boundaries.

Their 141-run stand took Sarisbury to within 40 of victory, but run chases are seldom

straightforward, those late breakthroughs by Petrie and Huntley leaving the hosts with plenty to do in the closing overs.

Wright, however, wasn’t to be denied his hour of glory.