ROPLEY, now captained by former England spinner Shaun Udal, sit top of the Hampshire League County One after three straight wins.

Udal, who came up through the ranks at Camberley before progressing to Hampshire and England (4 Tests, 11 ODIs), didn’t join in the run feast after winning the toss at Hursley Park. He didn’t need to as Ropley piled up 271-9 in their 50 overs.

Rob Smith (55), South African Tim Niemand (62), Martin?Peters (53) and Matt Donaldson (57 not out) – numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 – all reeeled off fifties. Donaldson’s came in double-quick time as Hursley wilted in the heat.

Hursley openers Lee Wateridge (22) and Paul Marks (22) gave their side a decent start, but it was clear that Ropley’s spin quartet were going to have their say on a deteriorating wicket. Udal didn’t bother with his own off-spin, just rang the changes as Seb Newens (2-37) and Niemand (2-37) and then Peters (4-42) enjoyed success.

Number 6 Matt Branford started to wrest back the initiative for Hursley with powerful pull shots, but he ran out of partners as the run-rate increased and was eventually bowled by Peters for a defiant 78. After a spirited effort, Hursley Park were all out for 226.