25th August 2014

Sway secure promotion with twelfth win on the spin

Hampshire County Div 3 (South)

Sway 200 Fair Oak 179. Sway won by 21 runs

Sway endured a tough test from third placed Fair Oak to win their twelfth game on the bounce and secure the four points they needed to get promotion. The win was largely thanks to a brilliant innings of 65 from Nilantha Attapatu and a decent fielding and bowling display.

After winning the toss Sway opted to bat but made an indifferent start as openers Tim Noble and Neil Prince departed early. It brought together Attapatu and Jack Walton (46), who both batted superbly to put together what proved to be a match winning 121-run partnership. The pair ran the singles hard and Attapatu in particular hit the odd huge shot. However, when the pair were out in quick succession, Sway were 140-4 with plenty of work to do. Adam Clark (12) was looking good, but ran ran out John Grasham (a topic that the two were still debating heatedly at the post-match barbecue) and when the former was out skipper Alex Hall took up the burden of notching runs, hitting a well compiled 30. After that, FJ Charton, Jack Baughan, David Steadman and John Waller all chipped in with runs as Sway secured the four batting bonus points they needed to secure promotion.

In reply Sway got a breakthrough when Waller (1-23) induced an edge, but Fair Oak were going at a fair-odd rate. Despite Steadman (1-44) also picking up a wicket, the visitors were well ahead of the required rate at 70-2 after 13 overs. The crucial moments of the game came in one Walton over, when the Fair Oak opener (who was batting brilliantly), offered up a dolly of a chance to Waller, who shelled the chance and was promptly made to wear the home team's new pink cap as punishment. But Sway were not left to rue the chance as the batsman then charged down the wicket the very next ball and was well stumped by Hall. From then on Grasham (1-32) and Walton (2-24) strangled the visitors, while Waller atoned for his earlier error by making a diving full length stop and throwing down the stumps to run out one of the Fair Oak batsmen. The match however, was still full of tension towards the end with the odd boundary keeping the visitors in the hunt. It was left to Attapatu (2-32) and Prince (1-12), aided by a terrific run out by Steadman's bullet arm, to secure Sway's win by 21 runs against a decent Fair Oak side.

On the final day of the season Sway go to Sarisbury and will need to win to secure the league title, and what would be a remarkable record of played 13, won 13.

Promoted heroes leave the pitch!