Baker backing Southwater to push on for third spot after comfortable win

Southwater's Alex Harding scored 117 not out and then claimed 6-64 on Saturday
Southwater's Alex Harding scored 117 not out and then claimed 6-64 on Saturday

Southwater skipper Nick Baker believes his side can kick on and push for a third-place finish in Division 4.

A comprehensive 125-run over Wisborough Green on Saturday saw them quash any faint worries of being drawn into the relegation battle.

Alex Harding smashed an unbeaten 117 runs and Baker blasted 86 from 50 balls after Southwater were put into bat and amassed 285-4 where they declared after the 48th over.

Harding then claimed 6-64 with the ball as Wisborough were then all out for 160.

The result sees Wisborough slip back into the relegation places, while Southwater are 64 points clear of the bottom two and 25 behind third-placed Slinfold.

Baker said: “I never really felt in any danger of going into the drop zone, but we can look at pushing on now and realistically look at third.

“I think if there was any worry, we are now clear of relegation and have Stirlands now so can look at beating them as well.

“It was a fairly easy win in the end and a good win for us. Alex batted the perfect innings in my opinion. From ball one right to the end. It was absolutely perfect.

“We were 105-3 when I came in and I took us up to 248-4 which topped us up and set us up nicely for a good declaration.

“At home 250 is a par score so we knew we had to push on a bit because of our quick outfield and short boundary.

“I knew we had to bat Wisborough out of the game, so we batted on a bit longer than normal. We took a nice early wicket and then they frustrated us until around 21 overs.

“They never really looked like going for it for a bit, so we were a bit frustrated at the start.”

Along with opener Harding, Matt Lacey hit 24, Johann Brouwer made 22 and Baker hit his quickfire 86 as Wisborough failed to perform with the ball.

Raj Maru finished with figures of 2-93, Jonny Farmer 1-95 and Nick Baron 1-59 in an expensive day for the bowlers.

In reply, after Chris Francis (eight) fell early, James Sadler (41) and Jamie Self (25) helped them to 85-2 before Brouwer (2-37) and Harding did the damage.

Only Baron, Dave Pleasants (both 13) and Farmer (25) made double figures as they slumped to 160 all out.

Full reaction from Wisborough captain Jamie Self in this week’s paper.

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