Andover 1st XI, sponsored by Nordlock, lost for a second time in a row which saw them drop into the relegation zone in the Southern Premier Cricket League division one.

Calmore Sports visited London Road on a warm and sunny day and skipper Matt Hooper, won the toss and decided to bat first on a good looking pitch in front of a bumper crowd.

The Andover opening batsman, Nathan Birks and Glyn Treagus started brightly with Birks hitting a couple of nice boundaries.

Unfortunately, this bright start didn’t last long and Andover were soon 27-4. Treagus, Birks, Matt Knight and Will Carr were all dismissed in the space of nine runs. From this point Andover faced an uphill struggle and Andrew Duckworth and Charlie Ayers started to rebuild the innings.

This pair recorded a half century partnership and took the score to 90 before Ayers fell when he was adjudged to be stumped. Hooper and Duckworth both also fell shortly after and Andover were now 94-7. Some lusty blows from lower order batter, Babu Veettil took Andover past the hundred mark. Unfortunately, for Andover, the wickets keep falling and Andover were bowled out for 133 from 36 of their 40 allowed overs.

Andover again knew they had to get quick wickets to stand any chance of winning. Calmore cruised to 28 before spinner Ayers continued his good form and took the first wicket. This was quickly followed with a deserved wicket for Veettil who trapped the second opener LBW. Calmore were 30-2 and Andover had a sniff of victory. However, with such a low total to chase down, Calmore knew they could take minimal risks. Ayers picked up the third wicket but Calmore had added another 28 to the total. Similarly for the fourth wicket, Calmore added 32 before Hooper got his first wicket which was well caught by Andrew Duckworth.

Unfortunately, the Andover bowlers could not prise out any further Calmore wickets and they flew past Andover’s mediocre total in 25 overs. Andover’s bowlers must take some credit for the way they bowled, in particular Veettil who was well supported by the returning Will Carr.

Andover fell into the bottom two and know that their batting must improve if they are to stand any chance of moving themselves out of the relegation zone. They travel to table topping Totton & Ealing on Saturday and welcome Premier division side Lymington to London Road on Sunday (3pm) in the first round of the T20 cup.