The Locks Heath Don Bradman! Joe Baker averaging 399 this season after hitting third successive century in Hampshire Cricket League victory

Locks Heath batsman Joe Baker took his seasonal average to a giddy 399 with a third successive hundred.

By Simon Carter
Monday, 16th May 2022, 10:00 am
Locks Heath opener Joe Baker is averaging 399 in 2022 after three successive hundreds
Locks Heath opener Joe Baker is averaging 399 in 2022 after three successive hundreds

The opener was dismissed for the first time in four innings during Heath’s Hampshire League Division 3 South fixture with Bashley 3rds.

But not before he had belted a career best 136 - beating the 118 not out he had compiled in Locks’ HL curtain-raiser against Cadnam the previous weekend!

Prior to that, he had struck an unbeaten 112 in a friendly against Lyndhurst & Ashurst and an undefeated 33 (out of a team total of 81 all out) in a National Village Cup loss to Hook & Newnham Basics.

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No 7 Adam Brown (38 not out) and Ian Stobbs (27) were the only other Locks players in double figures as they posted 280-8 off their 45 overs in the New Forest.

Bashley’s wayward bowlers gave them more than a helping hand, conceding 50 wides in a huge total of 64 extras.

Makatullah Niazi (3-53) was Bashley’s most successful bowler, including the honour of becoming the first man to dismiss the Bradmanesque Baker in 2022.

Faced with a big run chase, Bashley needed a good start but failed to get one as Locks’ opening bowlers Brown (2-36) and Ben Farrington (2-15) removed the top four between them.

Captain Sam Scott (37) - batting at No 7 - top scored for the hosts as they were dismissed for 162 (extras 34) to lose by 118 runs.

Locks are one of six teams to have won both of their opening games so far.

Top of the embryonic table is Portsmouth-based Kerala who defeated Totton & Eling 2nds by four wickets at Southern Gardens.

Skipper Dawn Ambi bagged 4-22 - clean bowling three of his victims, including top scorer Sam Beer (33) - as the hosts were bowled out for 176. It would have been a lot lower but for Kerala conceding 29 wides in a 33-strong extras total.

As it was, those ‘free’ runs didn’t affect the outcome, even though only one of the eight batters Kerala used scored more than 23.

That was wicket-keeper Prajun Kallidil, whose 54 included seven fours and a six as Kerala completed victory in the 36th over.

Robish Hentry (23 not out) and Vishnu Lal (13 not out) shared an unbroken match-clinching stand of 35.

Brad Hammans tore through Gosport Borough 2nds’ top order as Ellingham & Ringwood won by 71 runs at Privett Park.

Replying to the visitors’ 194 total, Gosport slumped to 30-5 with Hammans (4-31) removing Charlie Pennicott (4), Rob Wood (2), James Ewart (4) and Michael Gravells (1). With Sean Leadbetter (3-43) dismissing opener Lee Butcher for a duck, Borough were in huge trouble.

Captain Gavin King (44) offered the most resistance after that, but with extras (29) the second highest scorer Gosport were all out in the 23rd over for 123.