Rowledge fell to their second defeat in two weeks, losing by three wickets on a beautiful sunny day at Mays Bounty County Ground against Basingstoke & North Hants in Division One of the Southern Premier Cricket League on Saturday afternoon.
Winning the toss and batting, skipper Ben Wish wanted runs on the board to defend on a wicket that looked quite dry and as if it might take spin later on in the game.
The visitors lost Ricky Yates early on caught behind, which brought the returning Zac Le Roux to the crease.
Le Roux and opener Jonty Seeborn looked in cracking form as they progressed, producing some fine pull shots and drives.
A consolidation was required and overseas player Connor Cook came in and struck a huge six, but then tried to do it again three balls later and was caught with a stunning catch low down by Brad Neil.
At 56 for four, things did not look promising for the visitors.
Enter Jake Wish and Ollie Ryman, who set about producing a partnership which, although not quick, gave Rowledge hope of a decent target for the hosts to obtain.
Both played patiently, and with some powerful drives and pull shots the score started to look respectable.
Ryman (27) fell to another stunning cover catch and Wish (60) fell to a full toss hit into the deep.
At 167 for seven Rowledge hoped to surpass the 200-mark – with the wicket starting to take turn that would have been a challenging total.
Ollie Baker (12) and Max Martin (13) stuck around but the tail did not wag and the innings fell away to 177 all out.
Basingstoke spinner Ash Neal took three wickets, which gave the visitors hope with their four-pronged spin attack.
However, the total looked light on the fast outfield.
The hosts blasted out the traps with 35 on the board in no time, and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory.
Two quick wickets, thanks to a stumping from captain Ben Wish and a sharp run out from Ryman, reduced the home side to 60 for two.
Basingstoke’s Dubs Wood and Nurse consolidated and batted with patience to take the game away from Rowledge.
However, Rowledge never give in. With the wicket turning and some sublime fielding, the hosts got bogged down.
Wood fell for 56 and the home side were given a real scare by their visitors.
Tight bowling from the Rowledge attack gave the home team nothing. Suddenly the overs were flying by, and the loss of three more wickets had the game on the edge.
However, a big over of 16 from Nurse tipped the scales and Basingstoke got home with three overs to spare.
Rowledge bowled and fielded superbly, with Baker taking one for nine off his ten overs. Martin, Cook and David Lloyd also bowled accurately and found some decent turn as the high-fliers were made to work very hard for their win.
Lots of positives for Rowledge, and with another 20 runs on the board it could have been a different result.
Rowledge will entertain Portsmouth at the Recreation Ground on Saturday. The match starts at 12.30pm.