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Totton topple Alton

Alton returned to the scene of their recent T20 victory to take on Totton in the Southern Premier League last Saturday but the outcome was very different to that last visit with Totton running out easy winners in what turned out to be a bad tempered contest.

Alton, still missing the injured Dewayne Bowden welcomed back Robbie Heywood though a back injury prevented the Oxford University student from joining the bowling attack.

So armed with three spinners and one fast bowler Alton won the toss and chose to bowl on a firm but green tinged Linden Oval wicket.

Grey skies threatened throughout an absorbing first session Alton made early in-roads into the Totton batting order. First to go was David Taylor, superbly caught and bowled by Julian Ballinger for 11 with 20 on the scoreboard.

Mortimer then found the edge of fellow opener Tom Arnold and Scott Myers completed an easy catch behind, 22-2. Alton were celebrating again shortly afterwards as Ryan Hale’s reactions were tested as a Darron Augustus cut shot flew to slip off of the bowling of Jack Myers, Augustus gone for 8 and Totton 36-3.

Alton’s spinners were controlling the flow of runs superbly and the over rate was close to 20 an hour, Totton found themselves heading in to lunch 95 for 3 from 45 overs.

Wickets in hand meant that the batting side had given themselves a decent platform to try to attack after lunch, the format of time games meaning that they could bat for a maximum of 64 overs.

The tempo lifted, both Jimmy Taylor and James Haggaty went after the bowling, Taylor passing 50 before surviving an astonishingly close LBW appeal, Haggaty then was given a life when Mortimer couldn’t hang on to a chance at fine leg. Haggaty reached 50 from 122 balls before Jack Myers lured him from his crease and brother Scott completed the stumping. Totton’s platform was set at 169-4 and the remaining batsmen were quick to chance their arm.

The scoreboard ticked over and when Jimmy Taylor’s luck abandoned him on 97, LBW to Ballinger Alton scented an opportunity. 181-5, as Taylor visibly and verbally showed his frustration at his dismissal.

Nick Jenkin struck a couple of boundaries before being stumped, the Myers pairing striking again, 207-6. Adam Hayes and Adam Carty finishing the Totton innings with some lusty blows in what was really rather heavy rain.

The innings finished on 238 for 6 from 64 overs. That left Alton a minimum of 56 overs to score the runs.

The rain abated and the Brewers started their innings, Will Phillips and Jack Penn opened, Haggaty making a breakthrough immediately as Penn edged to Jimmy Taylor at slip 2 for 1.

Jon Dow was then trapped in front by Taylor 14 for 2. Scott Myers and Will Phillips then added 34 before Myers was given out caught behind, the umpire ruling that there was an outside edge at the same time as the Brewers Skipper claimed he flicked his pad – Haggaty had claimed another victim and Myers was gone for 14 Alton 48-3.

The Middle Order collapsed somewhat in a clatter of wickets either side of tea, first Phillips edged Haggaty to slip, 51-4, then Heywood was undone by a complete lack of pace and bounce by David Taylor 51-5, then Ryan Hale found mid-off’s safe hands as he mishit a Jimmy Taylor high full toss, 53-6.

Lawrence Hughes on debut coped superbly with an ever increasingly heated atmosphere. He looked comfortable at the crease and together with Ben Mortimer they added 23 before Jimmy Taylor induced an edge to namesake Taylor at slip, Hughes gone for 9 Alton 76-7.

Mortimer’s batting is an increasingly impressive addition to his bowling – he struck 5 superb boundaries in his 26 before being adjudged LBW 96-8.

Jimmy Taylor then accounted for Ballinger with a delivery that leapt alarmingly from a good length. Ireson and Jack Myers added 27 to take the Brewers to a batting point before Jimmy Taylor struck again, bowling Ireson for 15, Myers the not out batsman on 21. Alton succumbing to 125 all out in just 36.2 overs.

Alton know they will have to work hard to start to climb the league table, they welcome Winchester based St Cross to the JCG this coming Saturday – 11:30 am start.

*Alton’s other weekend matches were cancelled because of the heavy overnight rain.

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