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Bashley (Rydal) Cricket Club - Formed 1947

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Bashley (Rydal) CC Review 2002 (written by Neil Taylor)

The pre-season optimism prompted by the return of Western Australia's Luke Ronchi was soon dampened by one and five-run defeats at the hands of Calmore Sports and Liphook & Ripsley, respectively.

A superb all-round performance, led by Neil Thurgood and Ronchi, defeated Havant, the eventual champions, to get us back on track and the same two scored nineties as we scored 300 against Burridge. The following week saw a dismal batting performance to be bowled out for 101 at Bournemouth and then BAT's Dan Goldstraw took 6-26 to end any hopes of winning the title.

Richard Knowles' 113 proved in vain as Andover chased 249 at the BCG but this was to be our last defeat as the side finally produced a consistently high standard of cricket to climb to an eventual third place finish. Ronchi's 144 against Calmore was the highest individual score of the season and contained seven sixes, several of which endangered passing motorists and spectators alike.

As the season reached its climax, Havant hung on for a draw and Ronchi smashed 126 to defeat Burridge. Rain prevented us beating Bournemouth after bowling them out for 131 but the following week saw us defeat title favourites BAT with "pinch hitter" Dale Middleton making 66. Neil Thurgood's maiden league ton was the highlight of a win against South Wilts, who had defeated us in the SEC Cup. The season ended with a comprehensive win at Andover where Ronchi clinched the SPL bating prize. His 729 runs were scored off 743 balls at an average of 52.1.

Thurgood notched another half-century to finish with 641 at 45.8, and Andy Sexton made 329.

This season's captain Matt King missed the entire summer with a chest ailment, leaving XL Club paceman John Whiting (27 wickets) to partner 36-scalp Kevin Nash, who bowled some excellent spells and fully deserved his joint second place in the bowling statistics. Retiring skipper Neil Taylor bowled economically to maintain pressure which, backed up by generally superb fielding, made Bashley-Rydal hard to beat when the batsmen posted a total.

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