BASHLEY stumbled to a fourth successive Southern Premier League defeat when a Mitchell Stokes-inspired Basingstoke & North Hants beat them by 25 runs in a rain-affected affair at May’s Bounty.

Stokes took five for 39 – his first five-wicket haul for four seasons – as Bashley slipped to 207 for nine, having been asked to chase a rain-adjusted 233 off 42 overs.

Basingstoke initially posted 277 for nine off their full 50-over allocation, having come flying out of the blocks on the back of Chris Jolley’s pinch-hit 40 off 21 balls, which contained two sixes and six fours.

It gave Basingstoke the perfect launch pad from which to post their largest total of the season.

Ben Thane (40) moved Basingstoke into treble figures, but losing three wickets for 19 runs got Bashley back into the game.

Teenage left-arm quickie Brad Currie removed former South Africa under-19 captain Sibz Makhanya as he returned after a seven-match absence due to a stomach ailment.

From 145 for four, Basingstoke were forced to rebuild – but teenage duo Toby Albert (62) and Max Harsham (20) did the trick, steering the Bountymen to 277 for nine as Sean Read (4-52) returned to the attack to finish with his best SPL figures.

Unfavourable weather conditions left Bashley to chase 207 in 42 overs – a situation that appeared promising after Michael Porter (63) had built on a steady 55-run start by Tom Jacques (28) and Neil Thurgood (25) and taken the visitors’ reply to 144 for three.

But Stokes began to make inroads, taking out the entire Bashley middle order as five wickets fell for 26 runs and any hope of victory disappeared.

Teenager James Turner hit 21 not out to get Bashley an extra batting bonus point.