CAPTAIN Richard Morris hopes Bashley’s “most complete performance” of the season can prove the cornerstone of a Southern Premier League title tilt – despite yesterday’s rain-hit draw against St Cross Symondians.

On the back of a strong start by Michael Porter (53), Morris (100) led by example with a 160-run third-wicket stand alongside Nick Baker (71), the skipper firing 11 boundaries from 108 balls to take full advantage of a favourable batting wicket.

Felix Organ (2-61) eventually saw off the prolific pair but Jaron Morgan (46*) continued Bashley’s free-scoring exploits alongside Dan Friedman, who rattled off 21 from 12 deliveries as the hosts registered an untouchable 316 for four off 64 overs.

St Cross made a relatively strong start to their response but newcomer Sam Thomson (3-42) soon disrupted their flow with four maidens from his 13 overs.

The ex-Parley man took out Lewis MacManus for single figures, claimed the scalp of Edward Green for a fourth-ball duck and completed his treble by ending the afternoon of visiting opener and top scorer Matt Drakeley (45).

Everything was set up for a seamless victory until the rain intervened in the 35th over with Symondians steadfast on 116 for seven, but despite his side’s misfortune Morris was delighted with Bashley’s display.

“It was the most complete performance I have seen from the team for quite a while,” said Morris. “We have been asking our batsmen to come up with match-defining scores of 80-plus so it was great to see it all come together.

“On an ideal wicket for batting, restricting them in the manner we did was also very satisfying. It was frustrating we couldn’t finish the job but there was nothing we could do about the weather.

“From a personal point of view, I gave the team a few runs and everybody chipped in. It wasn’t my most fluent display or the most pleasing on the eye but as a unit we batted quite nicely.

“With weather disruptions it has been a peculiar season, very stop-start and very difficult for players to find that rhythm.

"We have only played five out of nine matches and that has seen averages fluctuate a lot but we have remained in touch.

“The 16 points we picked up (against St Cross) has boosted our average and the manner of the performance bodes well.

"The league is stronger again this year and I think there is a clear divide between the top and bottom half, making the games against teams round you all the more important.

“But our batters are finding their form and if we can get some dry weeks and stay within striking distance of the top two going into the final four weeks of the season, then we’ll have a good crack at it.”

  • New Milton’s trip to Basingstoke & North Hants was cancelled due to rain, while Lymington’s Premier Division match at Alton was abandoned with the visitors on 34 for two.