Champions South Wilts end on defeat

First published in Sport

HAMPSHIRE prospect Adam Rouse turned party pooper, bringing the curtain down on the ECB Southern Electric Premier League season in style with a superb 161 not out which enabled St Cross Symondians to beat newly crowned champions South Wilts by 50 runs and claim the Premier Division 50-over pennant.

Rouse’s century – the tenth highest individual Premier Division score – helped St Cross post a formidable 287-7 and go on to win a seventh successive limited-over format game.

The 21-year old’s first treble figure score in St Cross Symondians’ colours – he had made only 190 runs in his previous 11 knocks for the Winchester club – oozed quality and simply took the game away from South Wilts, who received the Southern Electric trophy before the start of play.

Rouse pierced the boundary rope 16 times and hit five sixes in the latter stages of his knock, described by many onlookers as arguably one of the best innings seen at Bemerton.

Ironically, St Cross made an indifferent start, with Charlie Esson’s prospects of winning the Premier Division batting prize disappearing when Jack Sheppard bowled him for four, and former Hampshire cricketer Jason Laney (6) departing courtesy of Owen Alsop at 22-2.

That was as good as it got for South Wilts, who rotated seven bowlers in an unsuccessful attempt to contain Rouse, who punished anything loose.

The Hampshire second team wicketkeeper shared a 97-run stand with Ed Green (29) and but really came into his own as St Cross, with wickets in hand, laid siege to the attack.

Rouse brought up his hundred as St Cross reached 200-6, and then cut loose – one sumptuous reverse sweep for six taking him towards a career-best score.

With Rouse and Lawrie Prittipaul (29) at the helm, St Cross plundered 73 runs off the last five overs !

South Wilts lost three wickets for seven runs – Tom Morton (2), Eddie Abel (0) and Jack Mynott [0] - and then slipped to 36-4 – Richard Logan (4-55) enjoying a new-ball treble.

James Hayward (57) and Owen Alsop steadied the boat, but overhauling such a formidable St Cross total was never an option.

Alsop batted well for his 80 as the champions reached 237 all out, Logan’s four-wicket haul clinching the Premier Division bowling prize.

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