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4XI v Shalford 2XI, Match Report – 9 June 2018

13 x I’Anson Brewers win first time pennant game.
In a week which nearly saw Shalford concede with limited availability, the new facility to loan players was used in a way that was probably never probably envisaged, but which steeps back to the origins of the friendly game. Alton loaned two players to their opposition Shalford (ex-skipper Lewis Jones and debutant Gautum Palmer) solving their own conundrum in the process, how to get a couple more colts in the team that is designed to foster the development of the younger players. Nathan Vincent and Sam Crook joined the ever-present duo of Gemma Porter and Amelia Marshall to make up a quartet of young prospects in the Alton ranks.

Stand-in skipper Critchell chose to bat first for Shalford and the openers Smith and Lidster looked to set themselves for a long knock. Vincent with the honour of opening the bowling from the railway end proceeded to bowl 30 consecutive dot balls to Smith to start the game, which surely must be some sort of record! He was replaced by Crook (jnr) and then Porter (jnr) to make it an all-out spin attack from that end. In the 21 overs they bowled a combined 3-67 (with Porter picking up the wickets).

The senior duo of Porter (snr) and Van der Linde had remarkably similar combined figures from the skate park end with 3-62, keeping Shalford pegged back to 133/6 at the break. Only Lidster (63) and Reed (24) showed any real resistance to the Alton attack. On a wicket that was hard and true it seemed that 133 was not enough and combined with the lack of front line bowling in the Shalford team, that proved to be the case. Alton knocked of the runs in 15.3 overs – an opening stand of 63 between skipper Green and Crook (snr) was broken by Palmer’s first wicket cleaning up Crook who left a ball that cut back and took his off stump. Green (55*) was then joined by Marshall (25*) and the duo quickly finished off the chase. In a game played in a friendly spirit, it was the spirit of cricket that won – the loan system used to great affect; getting the game on and getting the colts playing!