Myers, Heywood and Bowden lift Brewers
Alton secured a comfortable victory against basement boys Bournemouth on Saturday; the nerves jangled at various points throughout the contest but Alton’s experience saw them through.
Having lost the toss Alton were asked to bat on a surprisingly green and well grassed Jubilee Cricket Ground strip, it was apparent that batting during those early stages would not be easy and runs would be at a premium.
Alex Keath, an Australia Academy colleague of wonder-kid Ashton Agar, made the breakthrough when Alton had reached 15, Alex Hammond on debut finding mid-on with a crisp drive for 8.
Will Phillips was next to go, edging behind whilst looking to take advantage of loose delivery, Phillips had made 11 and Alton were 23-2.
Scott Myers joined Ryan Hale, but the partnership hardly got going before Keath lured Hale into a drive, the edge finding Bournemouth Skipper Martin Miller at slip, 29-3.
Dewayne Bowden was next at the crease, he and Myers added 37 before Bowden was un-done by a shorter delivery that bounced and stopped in the pitch a touch, Bowden caught for 20, 66-4.
Rob Heywood entered the fray, Alton were teetering and Bournemouth rightly felt in the ascendency, that changed over the course of the afternoon session, as Heywood and Myers added a sensational 149 run partnership, Myers rode his luck a little, one straight forward chance was dropped and another was struck so fiercely at mid-off that it burst through his hands and raced to the boundary. Myers was then bowled agonisingly 1 run short of what would have been a brilliant century.
Ben Mortimer timed the ball well immediately and when Heywood was caught by Keath for a magnificent 84, they had added another 44, 259-6.
Mark Heffernan upped the tempo with Mortimer and suddenly it was raining 4’s and 6’s, Heffernan struck 2 sixes in his 17 from 6 balls before holing out to long-on.
Mortimer ended 26 not out and Alton had reached 283 – 7 from their maximum allocation of 64 overs. A formidable total but not an impossible target for Bournemouth and the Brewers were wary of the threats offered.
A change of ends for Bowden and Mortimer dictated by the wind saw Bowden charging up the hill to Keath at the start of the Bournemouth innings. Keath, the tall, talented Victorian promptly clipped the Kiwi away over backward square leg for 6.
It was obvious that was Keath was one of Bournemouth’s best chances to reach the Alton total, and he continued attacking at every opportunity that arose. Several more powerfully struck boundaries arrived before
Myers spread the field to prevent the scoreboard ticking over as quickly, Keath was out soon after when another leg side clip carried to Will Phillips on the boundary edge. Keath gone for 24 and Bournemouth 44-1.
Skipper Martin Miller and Ryan Scott steadied the Bournemouth ship impressively Miller especially quick to punish anything loose, the pair had added 36 when Bowden trapped the talented Scott in front for 11 – 80-2.
Bournemouth continued to attack, Ben Rogers excellent array of shots kept the Brewers honest, but he fell attempting another, Ireson the bowler and Mark Heffernan gleefully accepting the catch, Rogers gone for a dangerous looking 32, Bournemouth 140-3.
Miller’s steadying hand was bought to an end by a beauty from Ballinger, the Welsh Wizard plucking one of his variations, and bowling Miller for 61, 150-4.
Bowden returned from the bottom end and Myers leg spin was introduced from the railway end, It was Kiwi Bowden who stole the show, first he had Jake Hurley caught behind – 176-5, then he was too quick for Dom Hand, bowled for 2, 179-6 and another shorter ball accounted for Justin Langen, caught Substitute Jack Austin for 23 – 180-7.
That became 180-8 as Myers bowled Peter Smith and Bowden then saw an early end to proceedings as he bowled both Curtis Watton and Tom Wainwright for 0 and 1, Bournemouth all out for 187 and Alton winning by 96 runs.
Alton face a tough test next week as they visit Havant at Havant Park, 11:30 start for the Brewers.