Rob Pittman played influential roles with bat and ball as South Wilts twice wriggled out of potential problem areas to secure a 73-run win over visiting ECB Southern Premier Division rivals Alton.

Initially, he hit 45 to lift South Wilts from an uncertain 128-6 towards a winning total of 214-9 and, when Alton were in a promising position at 93-2, he took the wicket of Aarav Rajnikanth (36) who was causing concern in the Bemerton ranks.

South Wilts lost Tom Cheater and Harry Broderick cheaply but were revived by James Degg (47) and Ben Draper (27), both of whom fell to the spin of Dan Sumner (3-43) to leave the Bemerton side six down.

Salisbury Journal: Ben Draper Image: Roy Honeybone

But Pittman (45) and teenager Ben Howgrave-Graham (28) added a precious 73 runs to steer South Wilts towards 214-9, Ben Rolfs 2-36.

Keeper Mark Heffernan celebrated five dismissals behind the stumps for Alton, whose opener Dan Harris (21) smacked five fours off 17 balls before being trapped in front by Australian Ryan Freeman (2-24).

While Scott Myers (49) and Rajnikanth (36) enjoyed a 59-run stand, Alton had an element of control, but after Pittman nipped out the former Sutton batsman, wickets tumbled.

A promising 93-2 became 156-6, with Tom Grant (2-16 off ten overs) creating inroads.

When Myers was trapped leg before, the game was up for Alton, who fell away to 171 all out, Cheater mopping up the tail. It was Alton’s fourth successive defeat.

South Wilts lie second – but some way behind Hampshre’s unbeaten Academy side – ahead of Saturday’s visit to Basingstoke & North Hants, the first of nine ‘red ball’ all-day time games.

South Wilts’ previous unbeaten second team were skittled for 95 and thrashed by nine wickets by Fawley, who have replaced them at the Division 3 summit.

They host Hursley Park in Lower Bemerton on Saturday afternoon.

The third XI won against Colden Common, 233-4 playing 234-7, with 69 for Cranch and figures of 2-36 for Robinson, while the fourth team lost against Andover’s third XI, despite a 75 for Whiting.

Up next for the thirds is Compton and Chandlers Ford second XI on June 8, while the fourths host Dinton on June 1.