A DECISIVE spell of new ball swing bowling by Luke Evans and a patient unbeaten half-century by Peter Rowe guided South Wilts to a five-wicket win over Basingstoke and North Hants helped them maintain a perfect start to their Southern League Premier Division campaign.

Evans, who finished with figures of 4-30, enjoyed the late movement both off the pitch and in the air, removing four of Basingstoke’s top six, two of them caught behind by the energetic Ben Draper, who snapped up four victims.

With Art Godsell (2-27) and Steve Warner (2-26) each taking two wickets, Basingstoke lurched to 78-8 before Ash Neal (30 not out) and Lawrence Benge (24) brought a semblance of order to the proceedings by adding 56 to give the visitors a modest total of 140 to defend.

South Wilts did not find the target chase straightforward at all.

A fiery spell from David Griffiths (3-48) had South Wilts wobbling at 56-4, Tom Morton, struggling with a thumb injury, being caught behind off Tom Allam.

South Wilts needed some Australian grit and determination – and found it in the shape of Peter Rowe, who has joined the Bemerton set from Melville, the well known Western Australian Grade club.

Aussies don’t give their wickets away cheaply and Rowe (54 not out) dug deep, completing his maiden South Wilts half-century just before a five wicket win was completed.

Teenager Jack Stearman (20), growing in maturity, looked like he might join Rowe in seeing SW across the line, but was run out by Chris Jolley attempting a second run.

It left Godsal (15 not out) to strike some sweet boundaries and take South Wilts home to a second consecutive victory.

South Wilts are through to the third round of the Royal London Club Championship without bowling a ball in anger.

Their scheduled second round opponents Ventnor conceded, giving SW a free ride into next month’s group semi-final tie at Havant.

The cancellation saved South Wilts forking out for an expensive cross-Solent trip and gave Tom Morton breathing space to get himself fit for Saturday’s potentially demanding Premier Division visit to Lymington, who have also won their opening two matches.