Tring Park v Alton CC
Alton Cricket Club travelled up to Hertfordshire on Saturday in the last of their pre-season friendly fixtures as they took on Home Counties Premier League side Tring Park.
The weather tried to intervene and persistent drizzle delayed the start and another later rain break curtailed the contest to 37 overs per side.
Brewers skipper Scott Myers won the toss and chose to bat first, the Tring Park groundsman had prepared an excellent playing surface and was excellent hard work was obvious for all to see.
Will Phillips and Michael Heffernan opened for the Brewers and were quick to cement a new opening partnership, Phillips recently arrived from Hartley Wintney and playing in only his second fixture for Alton.
They saw the opening seamers off and Heffernan took a liking to the change bowler mercilessly cracking him away to the boundary as the score leapt on to 81, Heffernan passing 50.
Tring Park captain Keith Dutch, ex of Middlesex and Somerset entered the attack and immediately snapped up the wicket of Michael Heffernan as he clipped to mid-wicket. Dutch’s experienced spin then accounted for newly arrived overseas Brad Kneebone for just 3 and when Scott Myers fell in the same over LBW, Alton had slipped a little to 85-3.
Phillips and the returning Kiwi Dewayne Bowden steadied the ship adding another 31 runs before Bowden (21) miscued to Jack Deal off the bowling of Ali Raja – 116-4. Phillips’ innings (36) was then curtailed by Dutch as his attempted lofted drive found Stanway. Dutch showing his class as he ended his spell with 4-16 from 6 overs.
The Brewers tried to re-build Howard Gadsby and Jack Myers added another 32 before Myers was caught behind by Pritchard off of the bowling of Vinay Kumar and Mark Heffernan’s attempted drive saw the bat catch the ground Kumar completing a simple return catch 155-7.
Overs were running short and it would require something special to enable Alton to post a competitive total and in Ben Mortimer they have that something special. Gadsby solid and untroubled cleverly turned the strike round and kept the scoreboard ticking while Mortimer unleashed some sensationally timed shots. When the innings closed his 33 off of just 17 balls included 2 fours and 2 big straight sixes, the Brewers had ended on 192 for 7 off their allocation of 37 overs.
Dewayne Bowden opened the bowling and made the breakthrough immediately as he lured Dutch into an expansive drive; the edge finding the safe hands of Kneebone behind the stumps 2-1. Mortimer backed the Kiwi up beautiful, settling into a very tidy line and length.
Scoring was difficult and the pressure was mounting; Devisetty and Tomlinson getting in a muddle and great work in the field saw the former run out for 6. 26-2.
Julian Ballinger accounted for Jack Deal with his first delivery caught Jack Myers for just 4 – 38-3 and when Jack Myers took a very good diving caught and bowled to see off Michael Payne for 13 Tring were looking in a spot of bother at 64-4.
Enter Robin Pritchard. Hard straight hitting became a feature of the next 45 minutes as the score steadily climbed. Tomlinson passed 50 and Pritchard looked likely to join him before Ireson outfoxed him and Pritchard was out bowled for 40. 133-5.
Scott Myers replaced Ballinger and struck removing Tomlinson with an excellent change of pace, Kneebone snapping up the chance, Tomlinson out for a well crafted 62. 145-6.
Ballinger returned to see off Andy Dixon LBW for 9, 155-7 and Stephen Dutch caught nonchalantly by Bowden for 6. 160-8.
Ireson then completed the innings bowling Raja for 0 and tempting Stanway to loft to Phillips at long-off, holding on after three juggled attempts. Tring all out in 36.5 overs for 164.
The Brewers Southern Electric Premier League season starts this Saturday 7 th May as they entertain Lymington at the JCG. The club is still seeking a Match Ball sponsor for this fixture – just £35 secures you this honour – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you or anyone you know is interested