NEIL Thurgood came out of retirement to hit a half-century as patched-up Bashley claimed a winning draw out of their ECB Southern Premier League match with Alton.

The 41-year old, who has made close on 7,300 runs in his Premier League career, thought he had hung up his first-team boots two seasons ago.

But with Bashley missing seven first-choice players, Thurgood was enticed out of retirement and showed everyone at the BCG he could still bat by making a patient 50 – a score that provided Bash with the chance to post a healthy 262 for nine.

Alton replied with 197 for five.

“It was a fantastic gesture by Neil, whose been a truly wonderful Bashley clubman as long as I can every remember,” said chairman John Neal.

“He stopped playing regular first-team cricket in 2016 and turned out for the seconds a few times last season.

“He’s frequently at the club so when we realised how stretched we were for numbers on a World Cup soccer day, he readily agreed to help out.”

Thurgood’s 50 was the 53rd half-century of his Bashley career which began prior to his joining the MCC YCs ground-staff at Lord’s when he was a teenager.

Patrick Holly (51), by contrast, made his maiden senior 50 and, with support from Phil Morris (38) and stand-in skipper Simon Watkins (31), took Bashley to a formidable 262 for nine.

Julian Ballinger (5-61) wheeled away, taking his third five-wicket return of the summer and his season’s tally to 28 wickets.

Alton lost wickets at inappropriate times – Marco Marais and Scott Myers went for ducks – and as the game drifted towards a draw at 197 for five (Mike Heffernan 45), Joe Paul (53) and Michael Salmon (50) notched maiden 50s for the Brewers.