ECB Knockout v Havant – Myers denied by the rain
Having beaten Portsmouth in the 1st round of the ECB National Club Championship, Alton made the long trip down to Havant Park to play last years’ ECB National Club Championship Semi Finalists Havant CC.
Alton had a very different looking side from the 1st round team that took the field at Portsmouth. With a lot of 1st and 2nd team players unavailable for this game, this gave some 3rd team players and some of the younger players a chance to show people what they can do. It also added extra responsibility for the older, and more experienced players who needed to produce some solid performances if Alton had any chance of competing with a Havant side that included 10 of their Saturday 1st team.
Alton skipper Scott Myers won the toss, and with the forecast for heavy showers later, he elected to bat first.
Phillips and Myers opened the batting against Havant’s new ball attack of Walker and Ord. The pair were aware of their responsibility at the top of the order to get the team off to a solid start and not let the Havant bowlers settle.
Myers looked to take the attack to the new ball pair and was quick to punish anything with a bit of width, lofting Walker over cover for a series of boundaries. Alton had reached 22 before the 1st wicket fell, Phillips trying to clear the infield but only managing to loft a drive to Ransley at mid-off for 2
This bought Jon Dow to the crease to join Myers, and the pair quickly got to work punishing anything loose from the Havant bowlers. Alton made fantastic use of the fielding restrictions with a flurry of boundaries in the power play and raced to 99-1 off 14 over’s, Myers bringing up his 50 in just 42 balls.
Alton had discussed at the beginning of the game the importance of people getting in, and producing big partnerships, which is exactly what Dow and Myers did. With the fielding restrictions relaxed the pair continued to find the boundary at regular intervals, also rotating the strike against the Havant spinners with ease. Myers and Dow bought up their 100 partnership in the 20th over, with Dow becoming the aggressor towards the end, hitting Ransley for a monster 6.
Myers bought up his 100 off 88 balls in the 25th over with a well timed on-drive for 4 off the bowling of Ord. The partnership raced on to 132 before Ord finally got his man, Myers bowled for a well made 104 which included 19 4’s. This wicket saw a slight collapse from Alton, who then lost Dow for an excellent 45, caught on the boundary trying to continue from where Myers had left off. Gibson then had Hughes LBW with a well disguised googly, and Matthews then saw off Hammond, who was adjudged LBW.
This bought Lee Partner and Andy Vickers to the crease. Both of these players wouldn’t have been overly familiar with facing such quality spinners, but both players looked at ease against the experienced attack. The pair added 20 runs to take the score to 191-5 off 38 over’s before the heavens opened, and play was suspended.
With the rain still falling, the players took an early tea, but alas, there was no let up with the weather and play was finally abandoned at 6pm.
Unfortunately the game has been rescheduled for this coming Sunday, which has meant Alton have had to forfeit the game due a lack of players available, attending a clubman’s wedding.
The inexperienced Alton side can take a lot of heart from their performance against a quality Havant side.