Sway I 244-4 New Milton II 70
Hants County Div 2.
Sway excelled in all departments in their opening fixture, thrashing a New Milton side that boasted two regular first-teamers in the shape of Tom Arnold and George Watts and sending a warning to their rivals in Hampshire County Division Two. Now skippered by Tim Noble, Sway duly cashed in on a lively wicket, having been asked to bat by the visitors – relegated from Hants County Division One last year – under blue skies.
It was an old favourite and a new face who dominated the home side’s innings; Back after a three-year absence largely due to travelling, Jack Walton batted sublimely for a well-paced 65, while teenager Dan Bailey – promoted to the first team after excellent form in the seconds’ – smacked a sparkling unbeaten 54 with an impressive array of terrific shots.
Along the way all the batsman who got in looked good. Noble (36) and Alex Hall (15), made a composed 45-run opening partnership, while David Steadman cracked a six towards the end of the innings and a mature showing from Oscar Marshall saw him ease to an unbeaten 25. Milton will surely improve on the more than 40 extras they bowled.
In reply Sway’s pacey and relentlessly accurate attack had Milton had in all sorts of bother early on, and the game was effectively over before 6pm as a dishevelled Milton limped 16-5 off 18 overs.
Steadman tore into the top order, having first teamer Arnold plumb lbw with the second ball of the reply, on his way to highly impressive figure of 8 overs 4-8 - one scalp aided by a brilliant Marshall slip catch. Fellow opener Jon Waller was disciplined, earning 1-23 and getting a wicket thanks to a good tumbling catch from Dan Bailey.
After drinks the home side – who were missing three key players – showed they had plenty left in the tank. Lloyd Scott was introduced into the attack and proved potent, bowling with pace and accuracy on his way to a terrific 3-9.
Amid the onslaught there was finally some resistance from the Milton lower order, yet Hampshire prospect Josh Bailey showed excellent control and guile, and his persistence was rewarded when he grabbed the final wicket with a snorter.
Jack Walton - batted like never been away