SOUTH Wilts’ James Hayward celebrated a five-wicket haul for the first time in eight years as the hosts swept into their ECB Royal London National Club Championship group final with a 102-run win over New Milton at Lower Bemerton.
A talented left-arm spin all-rounder in his youth, Hayward seldom plays as a front line bowler these days, mainly due to South Wilts' plentiful bowling options.
But Hayward showed his touch hadn't deserted him by taking 5-19, as New Milton tumbled to 100 all out after South Wilts had posted 202-9.
He bagged the scalps of New Milton opener Mark House (40), Lee Beck and three tail-enders.
South Wilts were earlier given a solid start by Tom Morton (45) and Eddie Abel (43), but lost their way against spin, losing five wickets in relatively quick succession.
Joe Cranch (23) did his bit in the middle-order, but it was largely due to Steve Warner (30) and Stephen Booth (25) that South Wilts managed to put 202-9 on the board, Nick Elliott (3-23) and Ashley Collinson (3-49) shared six of the wickets.
South Wilts' group final opponents on June 23 are Gloucestershire side Frocester, who defended 163 to beat Wiltshire-based Potterne (144) by 19 runs.