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Match Report – 2nd June 2018

Brewers blow away New Milton in a hurry

After last week’s superb performance against a strong South Wilts side, Alton gathered early at Jubilee for the first all day game of the season down in the New Forest against a New Milton side that had been struggling to find any form this year.

Myers won the toss and with the inclement weather that had been around during the week decided to have a bowl. The opening paring of Ben Mortimer and Toby Salmon instantly found their line and length on what was looking like a slow pitch. Mortimer in particular, was proving to be unplayable as the New Milton batsman were starved of any runs. New Milton moved onto 21 without loss after 10 overs, despite giving Alton 2 changes that weren’t taken. Salmon then removed 2 batsmen in 2 balls, both wickets sharply taken in the slip cordon by Myers and Marais. Mortimer then got rewarded for what was proving to be an excellent spell of quick and hostile bowling as opening batsman Tom Arnold gloved a rising delivery to Harris at 1st slip. Harris was in the game once again as an ill-advised 2nd run from Lee Beck saw him run out and New Milton were in trouble at 33-4.

Alton didn’t let up, and Mortimer continued to make in roads removing the next 2 New Milton batsman with quick, short pitched deliveries that were both caught by fielders in close under the helmet. Gonella was thrown the ball and took a wicket with his first ball to reduce New Milton to 53-7. A gutsy partnership before lunch between Steve Watts and George Watts took some time out of the game but due to the tight bowling and slow nature of the pitch the scoring rate never got above 2 runs per over.

Alton knew at lunch that anything over 100 could be a tricky chase with the nature of the pitch and the slow outfield.

Alton continued to keep it tight after lunch before Ballinger got the break through to remove Steve Watts, a fine catch from Mark Heffernan in close. Salmon was brought back into the attack and instantly picked up the wicket of the dangerous George Watts, caught behind by Hugo Hammond. Ballinger then picked up the final wicket to leave Alton needing to chase 83 form a minimum of 74 overs. Overall a superb bowling performance, in particular from Ben Mortimer and Toby Salmon both finishing with 3 wickets each.

New Milton had to attack in the field, and Alton knew if they got off to a quick start it would be difficult for New Milton to contain them. Alex Hammond got off to flyer, striking 7 boundaries in scoring 36 off 24 balls, before getting out with the score on 38. Dan Harris then came in and took over from where Hammond left off scoring 38* from 25 balls, both batsman brutal on anything short. Gonella then finished the game with a cover drive for 4, and Alton had polished off the total in 13.1 overs, before tea.