Rowledge slipped to a three-wicket defeat against Hook & Newnham Basics in Division One of the Southern Premier Cricket League on Saturday.

Rowledge were put into bat on a damp track. The Hook opening attack of Jack Murrell and Lewis Watts set about hitting an excellent length and making use of the extremely useful seam bowling conditions. Max Martin fell early on, but Jonty Sebborn (47) and Ollie Baker (34) put on 71 for the second wicket. Just as the pair fought through the tricky conditions, the spin of Aniket Divecha (four for 29) did not allow the Rowledge score to gain momentum. The spin bowler blitzed through the middle order and set Rowledge back as they looked to be positive. Olly Ryman scored 40 not out off 28 balls and Justin Felsch added 38 off 40 balls as Rowledge got up to a competitive 196 for seven off 50 overs.

Rowledge got off to a good start in the field when Hugh Croft took a smart catch off Ryman (one for 37). Martin then had Usman Ijaz (22) caught behind by Ben Wish to leave the visitors on 42 for two. Felsch (one for 38) settled into a teasing spell and removed Matt Buckingham. This brought the aggressive Rupert Armstrong to the crease to partner Charlie Neville, who was slowly accumulating a score. They put on 83 for the fourth wicket and the visitors were in the driving seat at 150 for three.

Rowledge did not give up and Martin (five for 26) removed Armstrong (45), Josh Buckingham, Thomas May and Cameron Hall. It was Martin’s first five-wicket haul in Southern Premier League cricket. Murrell looked to be positive and hit 29 not out off 19 balls, and Neville scored 58 not out off 127 deliveries to get Hook over the line. While the outcome was hard to take for Rowledge, the first two fixtures have produced plenty of positives and they continue to show a lot of spirit. Rowledge will be looking for their first victory of the season when they travel to the Isle of Wight on Saturday to play Ventnor.