South African first class opener Van Heerden hits century as Havant are thrashed in National Club Championship by Weybridge

Havant’s hopes of a long run in the National Club Championship were shattered at the first hurdle.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 10:44 am
Havant wicket-keeper Simon Loat watches on as Weybridge add more runs at Havant Park. Picture: Mike Cooter

Former South African under-19 opening bat Joshua Van Heerden struck an unbeaten century - and his colleague Nathan Tilley was out for 99 - as Weybridge coasted to an 11-run success at Havant Park.

The hosts were without numerous first XI regulars, including five of the XI who had played in the Southern Premier League loss at South Wilts two days earlier.

Skipper Chris Morgan led the list of absentees along with Jeremy Bulled, Stuart Ransley, Pete Hopson, Richard Hindley and George Metzger.

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Weybridge on their way to a big total in the National Club Championship at Havant Park. Picture: Mike Cooter

In came four players who had appeared for Havant 2nds in a Hampshire League game 48 hours earlier - Charlie and Alex Whitfield, Pete Hayward and Faizan Tahsin. In addition, Warren Turner was called up for his first 1st XI action of the season.

The much-changed hosts were no match for Weybridge, who had beaten Havant in this competition in 2016 and 2019.

This time Van Heerden and Tilley took the tie out of Havant’s reach after the Surrey club won the toss and elected to bat.

Van Heerden boasts an international pedigree, witness his 108 on debut for South Africa under-19s against Sri Lanka five years ago.

Havant bowler Richard Jerry in action against Weybridge. Picture: Mike Cooter

He has since played 16 first class matches, most recently in March of this year in his native South Africa for Eastern Province.

It was 169-2 when Tilley was bowled by Alfie Taw (2-48) one short of his century, but that only brought in Andrew Curtis (46) to add 97 for the third wicket with Van Heerden (100 not out).

Weybridge - who had included former England batsman Nick Compton in their Surrey League game with Reigate two days earlier - finished on 273-3 off their 40 overs.

That was a formidable target, and it became even bigger when opener Simon Lat (6) was bowled early on.

Ben Walker, skippering Havant in Morgan’s absence, was then run out for 21 by Van Heerden.

Two of Havant’s promising teenagers, Charlie Whitfield (36) and Alfie Taw (37), ensured their side didn’t go down meekly.

Hayward struck six fours in his unbeaten 27 off 24 balls as Havant finished 111 runs short on 162-8.