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Match reports, week 2, 2017

Alton v Lymington – Sat 13th May

Alton were brought back down to earth with a bump on Saturday. Full of confidence following their victory a week earlier Alton had hoped for more of the same as they hosted Lymington at Jubilee. Unfortunately Alton were to be blown away by the visitors in what was a hugely one sided affair.

Lymington won the toss and elected to bat. Alton had hoped that any movement would be found early on but Lymington came out hard and took advantage on what quickly became a apparent was a fantastic batting surface. Things did not go Alton’s way, Mortimer fresh off a 4 wicket haul pulled up in his early overs with a hamstring issue. Jamison bowled well early on but Lymington were in no mood to give up the initiative. Terry Crabb took the attack to Alton and punished anything off line, with Ryan Scott supporting from the other end.

Alton did what they could to find the breakthrough a few half chances came and went as the opening stand moved into three figures, Alton left frustrated. Alton eventually got the breakthrough with the score on 142 when Ryan Scott was bowled by Jack Myers for 50. Terry Crabb continued his march making a fantastic century before Richard Lock was bowled, again off the bowling of Jack Myers (2 for 76) for 23, but with the score approaching 200 with plenty of overs remaining Alton were staring down the barrel.

Crabb was joined by the young Hampshire player Calvin Dickinson who after almost being caught off his first ball took the attack to Alton hitting his next ball for six. Crabb continued to hurt Alton and things got worse for the home side as they failed to take chances dropping both Crabb and Dickinson. When Crabb was eventually removed caught by Michael Heffernan in the deep off the bowling of Hughes he had made an outstanding 156 off 121 balls in an innings that included 18 fours and 3 sixes.

Dickinson continued the onslaught plundering 71 off just 40 balls and when he was removed LBW to Ballinger Lymington were 342 for 4. Ed Ellis scored 35 not out at the end as Lymington posted a remarkable 381 for 5 in their 50 overs. Ballinger the only bowler really to contain the flow of runs taking 1 for 48 off his 10.

Alton were somewhat shell shocked and knew to get close would take some doing. Alton looked to be positive early on but when both openers were removed Alton were 49 for 2. Scott Myers joined Dan Harris who was taking the attack to Lymington but when Myers fell for 11 Alton were 75 for 3.

Harris continued his own mini battle against the Lymington attack as he passed 50, his first for the club, unfortunately he was unable to continue and holed out in the deep for an impressive 64. With Harris gone and the score Alton 103 for 4, things got worse for the home side as they tried to turn their attention to survival and any potential bonus points on offer. No such stability was found as wickets fell in quick succession leaving them reeling 106 for 7. Ben Mortimer scored 25 not out at the end as the Brewers limped to 148 all out in what was an all round poor day for the home side. Lymington were too good on the day as they blew Alton away.

Alton will look to put this result behind them as they face a strong South Wilts side at Jubilee next weekend.

Scorecard – http://alton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3034325

2nds off the mark at Hursley Park

Alton 2 XI took to the road for their first away trip of the season against Hursley Park, knowing that an improved performance on last week was required to earn their first win of the season. On a slightly damp day both teams were looking to bowl first and it was no surprise that the visitor’s won the toss and took to the field.

Alton’s bowling attack had been strengthened by the additions of the Salmon brothers fresh from their Twickenham heroic’s and it was not long before Mike Salmon made an immediate impact. A truly stunning opening spell of swing bowling saw him take 4-13 off 10 overs. Aided by the ever economical Stephen Ball (1-26) the two openers’s put Alton in a strong position leaving Hursley Park on 35-4. It was the turn off the other Salmon brother Toby to make his mark on a game with another exceptional delivery in his first over to reduce Hursley to 36-5, and was then instrumental in producing a run out leaving them on 49-6. It seemed that an early tea was in order, although Tom Flynn and Luke Deacon put on a respectful 89. Aided by some slightly wayward bowling the two batted very maturely and sensibly to put Hursley back into the game until Deacon was caught trying to up the tempo on the sweep for 33 by a very calm Dave Evans off Lee Partner (2-37).

Jai Solanki (2) and Mahesh Kajendran (0) both fell cheaply and it was only some late lusty blows from Tom Flynn (77no) that moved Hursley park on to 175. A total Alton would not of minded chasing at the beginning of the innings.

On a pitch that certainly looked better to bat on the longer the day went on, Alton’s innings started brightly with Postles (75) and Gadsby (17). With some sensible batting followed by some lusty blows Alton batsman looked to grow in confidence the more time went on, and it was unfortunate when Gadsby was caught for 17, a score that didn’t reflect the hard work that had been achieved by the opening pair. Hale joined Postles at the crease and but was out dismissed early for 5. Evans fresh from a ton the previous week was undone by a good delivery leaving Alton on 67-3 and Hammond on a hat trick delivery.

With a slight change in fortune Hursley Park had the wind back in there sails and sniffed a change in momentum but a fine partnership of 91 began to end that hope. Hammond batted as normal with aggression and taking the attack to the bowler with a fine 47 before playing one shot too many. Salmon M, joined Postles at the crease , but it was Postles whom was soon returning to the hut after he too was caught. A slight air of nervousness was quickly dispelled as Salmon M, nonchalantly dispatching a cover drive for 6 eased those fears. Although he too was removed two runs from the final chase the damage had already been done and Alton was brought home by his younger brother Toby and D.Trim to give Alton there first taste of victory since returning to the SPL.

Hopefully this performance and confidence will carry on to next week where Bashley are currently 2 from 2 and we look to disrupt their form.