Teenager Taw bags career best figures as ‘perfect’ Havant retain Southern Premier League T20 Cup
Skipper Chris Morgan hailed a ‘perfect’ performance as Havant lifted the Southern Premier League’s T20 Cup for the sixth time.
Teenager Alfie Taw bagged his best-ever 1st XI figures in a one-sided final against top flight rivals Hook & Newnham Basics at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl.
Taw claimed the wickets of both openers, en route to a 4-17 haul.
Hook limped to just over 100 with Havant romping to a nine-wicket success with more than four overs in hand.
Taw bowled Samuel Lockwood (9) and then rearranged the stumps of Hook skipper Josh Buckingham after Morgan won the toss and elected to field.
Only Matt Buckingham (40) and Harry Warner (27) offered much resistance with a fourth wicket stand of 54.
They were the only two Hook batsmen to reach double figures as their side crashed from 100-5 to finish on 106-9.
Morgan claimed 2-9 off his four overs while Richard Hindley (2-25) dismissed Hook’s top two scorers.
In reply, Harry Gadd struck 27 in an opening stand of 39 with Ben Walker before he was caught and bowled by Josh Balcombe.
That would prove to be Hook’s sole success, as Pete Hopson joined Walker in an unbroken partnership of 70.
Walker ended unbeaten on 49 after hitting the second and third balls of the 15th over - bowled by Harry Warner - to the boundary. He faced just 34 balls and struck six fours and a six.
Hopson ended unbeaten on 32 off 27 balls as Havant retained the trophy they had won with a comfortable victory over Hampshire Academy at Totton & Eling in 2020.
‘Hook were at full strength but we played as perfect a game of T20 cricket for as long as I can remember,’ said Morgan.
‘We were really terrific. All the things I’ve asked of the boys this season and last season - intensity, energy, bowling to plans - they delivered.
‘Our bowling performance was brilliant and the fielding was outstanding.
‘Alfie was incredible, he’s matured massively this year and he has so much more to offer, he can become a key member of the team for many years.’
Morgan said the cup win put the seal on a ‘fantastic’ 2021 for Havant which also saw the 2nds promoted back to the Southern Premier League as Hampshire League County Division 1 champions.
The club also started a women’s section which has attracted good numbers.
‘Having the twos in the Southern League structure will certainly help the first team push for the title,’ Morgan remarked.
‘We have already spoken to players who would like to test themselves in our first team, but are not proven at that level yet.
‘They will be able to test themselves in the twos. And instead of anyone having to leave the club to play Southern League cricket, they can do it in the twos.’
Havant, who finished sixth, never threatened a top flight title challenge in 2021, though with seven games rained off they were hampered by wet weather more than anyone else.
‘I’d say we’re two or three pieces of the jigsaw away from having a team that can challenge for the title next year,’ said the skipper.