Brewers skittle St Cross
Alton looked to maintain their unbeaten start to the timed cricket pennant as they entertained St Cross at Jubilee on Saturday. With rain clouds circling and the forecast not promising Alton asked the visitors to bat first.
The Brewers, buoyant from their victory on the island a week earlier, were immediately back into their stride. Mortimer (3 for 32) did the early damage, a top edge accounted for Tom Foyle, Janmohamed making no mistake under the high ball. A sharp catch at gully from Heffernan gave Mortimer his second and St Cross were in trouble at 7 for 2.
St Cross looked to rebuild but the same combination accounted for Marriott for 7 and St Cross were reduced to 41 for 3.
Rouse joined the inform New Zealander Pollard with Alton knowing this was the key partnership. Skipper Myers (3 for 25) brought himself on and duly accounted for Rouse with a beautiful in swinger beating the former Hampshire man’s defences and the visitors were in further trouble at 49 for 4. The Myers brothers then traded wickets and St Cross fell to 82 for 6.
With Pollard still in and looking to be positive Alton knew his wicket would be significant. With runs hard to come by Pollard tried an expansive slog sweep but young Jack Myers beat his defences clean bowling the St Cross overseas man for 48. J Myers (3 for 32) took his second in the over Salmon catching the opposition skipper for 0 and St Cross were in danger of falling short of three figures. From 86 for 8 some late resistance from Harry Foyle (27*) took St Cross up to 125 with Ballinger (1 for 11) removing the former Alton skipper Farooq to end the innings.
Alton chasing a similar target to the week before began positively with both Hammond (25) and Alexander (15) hitting a flurry of boundaries to get the Brewers off to a flier. With the damp conditions difficult for bowling Alton looked to take advantage. St Cross then hit back, two quick wickets reduced Alton to 49 for 2 and when J Myers was run out for the second time in as many weeks, this time in unfortunate circumstances backing up at the non strikers end, Alton were creaking at 50 for 3.
Heffernan joined Myers looking to replicate their partnership of only a week earlier. The pair added a valuable 31 before Myers (15) was trapped LBW off the bowling of Farooq. Janmohamed (12) struck a couple of timely boundaries moving Alton close to three figures before a double strike from Farooq left Alton with work to do at 98 for 6.
Heffernan was still there now joined by the hard hitting Mortimer who played in his usual fashion and 4 quick boundaries moved Alton to within touching distance. Farooq however was not finished one shot too many from Mortimer saw him caught in the deep for 17 and the former Alton man ended with 4 for 26, leaving Alton teetering at 116 for 7.
Young Dan Scott was the new batsman and survived a testing over from Foyle. Heffernan (28*) now on strike struck Farooq for a boundary easing any fears of a collapse and when he cut the off spinner away for 3 Alton were left with 2 required. Scott (2*) completed the victory striking the winning runs much to home teams relief and the Brewers secured their third straight victory.
The Brewers will look to continue their recent good form when they travel to table topping South Wilts on Saturday.
2nds continue to struggle
Alton’s batting woes continued in the corresponding 2nd XI fixture at St Cross.
The visiting Brewers started well, with Michael Salmon troubling the top order with some prodigious swing movement with the new ball, reducing St Cross to 37-3.
Opener Fergus Heycock batted patiently, and was joined by James Brooke, and the pair then put on a significant partnership of 90.
Joe Paul (3-39) eventually broke the partnership and got Alton back in the game with help from Robbie Pitts-Mellan (2-45).
Michael Salmon then returned to claim three more wickets to finish with fine figures of 5-17 – all bowled – to dismiss the home side for 188.
Alton started positively, but when Jack Penn was removed for 21, things began to wobble again in the Brewers top order.
They stumbled to 54-6 before Salmon (40) and Paul (36) hauled them back into some sort of contention.
However, they were dismissed in quick succession and Alton stumbled to 132 in what was a missed opportunity for a much needed win.