4 in 5 for 1s, 2s Better Basingstoke

Alton travelled to Burridge on Saturday hoping to continue their recent good run of results, and with an outside chance of securing the Southern Electric Premier League Time Pennant for the first time.

Due to some early morning rain the game started late, with Alton captain Scott Myers winning the toss and inviting the opposition to bat first under some threatening clouds. It was Myers himself who made the breakthrough, removing the ex-Hampshire player Derek Kenway for 3 with the score on 15.

Kenway’s opening partner Chowdhury soon followed as he chose not to play a shot to a big in swinging delivery from Dewayne Bowden and was adjudged LBW. Burridge number 3 Richards was then caught off at slip by Bowden off Myers and Bowden then had Lavery trapped lbw first ball on the stroke of lunch to leave the home side facing an uphill battle at 39-4.

After lunch Burridge’s overseas player Dods and wicketkeeper Rood played sensibly to take the score along to 66 before Myers (3-43) bowled Rood (10). This brought skipper Ankers (20) to the crease and he and Dods kept the score moving along against some tight bowling, with Jack Myers proving particularly miserly producing a spell of 6 overs for 10 runs, before Julian Ballinger removed Ankers with the score at 114. Ballinger (3-27) then removed Thew (8) and Jackson (20) leaving Burridge at 165-8, before the returning Bowden (4-50) accounted for both Ancell (0) and then the dogged Dods for a well-made 79.

This left Alton 49 overs to score the required 182 for victory, and they got off to a positive start before opener Penn(10) was caught at point with the score on 31. When his opening partner Janmohammed (28) was caught behind off Dods with the score on 39, this was just the kind of situation in the past where Alton may have lost another couple of quick wickets and faced a battle to save the game.

Not this time however, as Will Phillips (47*) and captain Myers (46) set about patiently reducing the deficit against some tight bowling which was well backed up in the field, which made scoring quickly difficult. The pair didn’t panic and when Myers was out caught behind off McMurray just short of his fifty, Alton required 62 from 11 overs with 7 wickets in hand. Bowden then came to the crease and immediately set about the task in hand with some gusto, manoeuvring the ball around the field for 1s and 2s before he and Phillips increased the strike rate by adding 38 runs in 4 overs to take Alton to within 17 runs of victory with 5 overs remaining.

All that was left for the pair to do at this point was to bat sensibly to see Alton home, which they did when Phillips hit Dods through extra cover for 4 in the 47th over, leaving Bowden with 46 not out from 38 balls  to add to his earlier 5 wicket haul.

The win was the 4th in the last 5 games for Alton, but with South Wilts also winning it wasn’t quite enough for them to secure the Time Pennant. For Burridge the loss saw them slip to the bottom of the League, and facing a difficult run in.

This Saturday sees Alton return to the Limited Over format when they entertain Ventnor at the JCG, with the game starting at 1pm.

Brewers better Basingstoke

Alton 2nd XI got back to winning ways on Saturday against local rivals Basingstoke 2nd XI.

The Brewers won the toss and elected to bowl, but Basingstoke got off to a flying start with Mohammed Rizwan striking three successive boundaries.

Toby Salmon got Alton into the game when he had him caught behind, and Alex Hughes (2-37) claimed a similar dismissal to leave Basingstoke ok 27-2.

Basingstoke ran well between the wickets and gradually built partnerships, but Dan Scott (2-24) claimed two scalps to halt their progress.

Dean Nurse batted aggressively, particularly against the spinners, but Salmon (3-48) returned to remove him for a well made 48.

Youngster Bradley Neal also batted well, while Chris Chandler was more threatening as he made 22 from just 13 before Lee Partner took a return catch before Basingstoke were dismissed in the 49th over for 224.

An earlier shower had reduced the Alton innings by 4 overs and 8 runs, but the home side got off to a confident start.

Howard Gadsby played a fluent innings of 35 before being the first to fall, and John Dow followed when he was trapped in front for 16.

Michael Heffernan picked up the scoring as he dealt severely with anything short, before he too fell LBW.

The partnership between Mark Heffernan and Alex Hammond looked to have put Alton in a winnings position, but when they both fell in their 20s in one Rakitha Perara over, it looked like the Brewers may stumble.

Michael Salmon struck the ball sweetly before being strangled down the leg side, but skipper Alex Hughes and Lee Partner nudged Alton over the line for a hard-fought victory.