Liphook keep survival hopes alive with important win against Calmore Sports
Liphook kept alive their slim hopes of avoiding relegation from Division 1 of the Southern Premier League with a fighting victory over Calmore Sports at Ripsley Park.
Calmore won the toss and as expected, elected to bat first on a scorching day.
The visitors started watchfully with the in-form Ben Johns taking his time and looking to build a foundation at the top of the order alongside Sam Moss.
Some tight bowling from skipper Sean Burton and resident seamer Charles Janczur kept the run rate down and they were rewarded with an early wicket which was edged behind to keeper Harry Munt – Moss departed for only five runs.
Johns looked to rebuild and started to play some strong shots down the ground, with Calmore captain Mark Lavelle joining him at the crease.
Lavelle hit a glorious cover drive for four runs and looked to remain positive, but then chipped the ball to George Neave for a simple catch off Joe Randall, taking the visitors to 42 for two.
Liphook continued to bowl with control and patience, varying between spin and seam options.
It was the introduction of Oscar Amis – who has played a key role in the side since returning from university – who piled on the pressure with a superb display of accurate spin bowling.
The left-armer kept things very tight, bowling five maidens, taking two wickets and going for only 18 runs in his allotted ten overs.
Part-time spinner Rob Nicklin picked up a wicket in his first over and kept the run rate below par.
The wickets were shared among all seven bowlers and the visitors were bowled out in the 48th over for 174 runs.
Liphook were in with a real chance to keep alive their hopes of avoiding relegation and went about their business as usual with the bat.
There was another positive start by openers Ryan Covey and Henry Amis, with Covey continuing his fine form throughout the season with a flurry of boundaries.
Covey has now amassed more than 500 runs for the season – with no sign of slowing down.
The introduction of spin made things more difficult, with the dry pitch causing problems.
Covey chipped a ball to cover and departed for 20 with Henry Amis digging in and building the foundations.
Giles Cover and Munt added crucial top-order runs, both showing their experience and hitting to the gaps to accumulate the score.
Both occupied the crease with Henry Amis, but were also undone by the steep bounce and spin at Ripsley Park, Cover with a gritty 15 and Munt a flowing 28.
Henry Amis looked composed and resilient, and as he neared his half-century he looked to push the score on and was caught on the boundary for 45.
It was a fantastic effort in setting up the finish for Liphook’s middle order of Oscar Amis and Nicklin.
Amis struck the ball cleanly from the start, hitting the gaps and rotating the strike well with Nicklin.
With a run a ball needed, pressure started to mount and with calculated risks, the pair managed to hit some crucial boundaries to give them breathing space to take it over the line with an over to spare.
With Liphook losing only four wickets they took maximum points to keep alive their hopes of avoiding relegation.
This weekend they have home advantage again, when they take on Basingstoke and North Hants, who are tucked in behind the pace setters in Division 1.
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