Brigands v Portsmouth
Brigands started well with a 60 run opening partnership between Wood, Bailey and Byes that kept the scoreboard moving at 5 an over.
With a batsmen-heavy Brigands line up, strike rate was the order of the day and on a straw coloured turning pitch defence was more dangerous than attack.
Henderson hit 5 sixes, narrowly missing the Honorary Secretary's mother-in-law and just evading the windows of the Bat and Ball. When he was stumped it was left to Turner, who played shots all around the ground, and the more classical Charlie Peach to keep up the momentum. A brief cameo from Bates took the Brigands to 200-3 off 35 overs to allow an early declaration and tea.
The Portsmouth chase started briskLy and it took line-and-length from Hays and a smart caught and bowled from Hands to keep the score to 60-2 after the first hour. The floaty-spin-triple-threat of Northwood/Jay/Turner were assigned the Pavilion end and Northwood in particular found good turn and bounce.
Portsmouth remained patient and 90 off the last 20 overs with 5 wickets in hand seemed doable. Hands and Ladenburg switched ends and more wickets fell, Jay took a stunning one hand catch at silly mid off and now it was 30 off 6 overs and just 3 wickets left; more dots, more pressure and 16 needed off the last 2 overs.
Under pressure, under the sultry evening sun, and under the impression he is an opening batsman, Wood was hit by Hampshire's Simon Jones for a couple of sixes and a four in the 47th and penultimate over sealing a 3 wicket win for Portsmouth.