Match reports, Week 11, 2016

1st XI v Burridge

Alton produced arguably their most complete performance of the season to topple league leaders Burridge, in what was a hard fought encounter at Jubilee.

Alton once again lost the toss but were not disappointed as they were asked to bat first on what looked like a good batting surface. Alton began positively with opening pair Hutton and Janmohamed giving Alton the start they would have hoped for. Both were watchful, but also looked to be positive against the new ball as Alton moved steadily to 70 without loss.

Alton threatened to undo all their good work, when first Janmohamed was dismissed for 25 off the bowling of Burridge’s overseas import Dodds. Things got worse as Sullivan White with some nagging away swing removed Hutton for a valuable 39 and Hammond both caught behind as Alton fell to 71-3.

Michael Heffernan joined skipper Scott Myers with both batsmen on zero and the home side needing to rebuild. The away side were bowling extremely well not giving the Brewers anything to release the pressure. Alton made it to lunch with no further casualties but the run rate had slowed.

After lunch the partnership began to grow as the home side past 100 but the pair remained patient, finding it hard to get the disciplined Burridge attack away. The board began to tick over more freely as the pair frustrated the visitors, the partnership moved past 100. Heffernan reached his 50 off 101 balls before his gritty innings came to an end trying to up the rate with overs running out.

A potential match winning 108 run partnership had moved Alton into a reasonable position at 179 for 4. Myers made it to his 50 before he was also removed by Stancliffe for a vital 51 off 117 balls. Late runs from Heywood who made 24 off just 15 balls lifted the Brewers to a competitive 218 for 7 off their 64 overs.

Alton knew they had to be on top form with the ball to beat what was a confident Burridge outfit and the home side did not disappoint. The visitors did start positively but Mortimer returning to full fitness picked up Alton’s first wicket as he removed Houlton safely caught by Ballinger at point with the score 22-1.

Mortimer got his second finding the edge of Collings-Wells, Scott Myers taking the catch at second slip. The visitors had moved to 52 for 2 but with Alton leaking too many four balls the visitors were well above the rate. Jack Myers leg spin had opener Hewitt in trouble but Alton could not make another breakthrough before tea.

Post tea Alton found a bowling partnership that stemmed the flow of runs Ballinger and Scott Myers bowled lengthy spells as the Brewers began to chip away. Opener Hewitt was removed by Myers for 44, Hutton taking a sharp catch at slip leaving Burridge 95-3. Shortly after Myers got his second removing the dangerous Dodds for 34 off just 32 balls, Janmohamed making no mistake taking the catch standing up to the Brewers skipper. Myers was not done as 114 for 4 became 125 for 5 as he picked up his third victim Ballinger again taking the catch as the Burridge keeper skied one to square leg.

Over to Ballinger celebrating his birthday continued his remarkable run of form. With 10 wickets in his last 2 completed innings Ballinger made it 15 from 3 as he cleaned up the Burridge middle order and tail.

First to fall was Ben Fitchet, Mark Heffernan taking a fantastic catch at short leg as the Guernsey batsman played the ball off the middle and with no time to react Heffernan made no mistake. Burridge continued to remain positive in their approach but when skipper Ankers was removed by Ballinger the score was 131-7 and Alton were in the ascendancy.

Stancliffe and Richards moved the visitors past 150 closing in on the winning draw total of 188, but when he was trapped by Ballinger for 15 Alton sensed victory was near with Burridge faltering on 153 for 8.

Birthday boy Ballinger was not done he removed Richards who’s patient 19 off 52 balls was ended – Michael Heffernan taking the catch and Alton were one wicket away. Skipper Myers looked to his seamers to seal victory but when this failed he turned to the ever dependable Ballinger who duly obliged cleaning up the Burridge number 11 McMurray and Burridge were bowled out for 165.

Ballinger ended with fine figures of 5 for 50 and Alton completed what was a memorable and hard fought victory by 53 runs.

Alton are at home again next week as they entertain the young Hampshire Academy side.

Scorecard –

2nd XI v Burridge 2nd XI

Alton II travelled to Burridge with the hope of keeping there unbeaten streak alive in County Division One. On a very hot day it was a good toss to win and to everyone’s surprise was won by Alton who elected to bat.

Things did not get off to the best of starts for the visiting team with Postles being caught off the third ball without a score on the board. After some good rebuilding R.Hale (30) and L.Hughes (20) both played with attacking intent until both players were caught playing one shot too many. Off the back of a superb 98 the week before the in-form R.Anthony (66) and J.Paul (34)made steady progress with a good partnership until J.Paul departed being adjudged LBW.

H.Hammond (8) joined Anthony at the crease and showed his intention with his first ball dispatching the bowler over his head for a glorious 6. Hammond tried re-creating the same shot only a couple of balls later which was only prevented by a stunning one-handed catch on the boundary at full stretch.

T.Salmon (37) on his second XI call-up showed his quality with a quick burst 37 off 17 deliveries with consecutive 6’s to push Alton II past the 200 mark. After a flurry of good shots T.Salmon was removed with another LBW decision Alton tail dug in to ensure they passed 225 and in doing so gained a valuable batting point, finishing the innings on 227.

Alton once again knew they had to be disciplined to contain Burridge on a very quick outfield and got an early breakthrough when skipper S.Ball (3-40). At the other end A.Hughes (3-21) produced a remarkable spell of swing bowling which the Burridge batsman could not play. A great delivery from A.Hughes removed the other opener leaving Burridge two down early. Ball removed another of the top order after finding the edge and safely being caught by R.Hale in the slips.

T.Salmon (2-44) replaced Ball at the Pavilion end and bowled with real menace and pace with any runs being scored coming through the slip cordon, but got another breakthrough Alton were looking for removing Candy for 10.

Burridge looked to consolidate and re-build and did so very well with Wright and Wickramasignhie digging in and scoring positively. Both spinners in L.Partner (2-27) and T.Paul (0-30) did not have the desired effect it normally has and Alton replaced Partner for seam again. Ball coming back was not as disciplined as he normally was and was punished for anything wayward but the change in pace worked removing Wickramasignhie for 31.

Partner removed Jackson for 5 with slightly loose delivery which was caught by Postles at point, but Salmon got the main breakthrough removing the hard hitting Creal for 13 which was very well caught by L.Hughes as Creal did his best to put the Alton fielder off calling his partner through for a single on a number of occasions.

Hughes returned to finish off his brilliant spell taking two final wickets and removing Wright on 47, whom batted very admirably and was unfortunate not to reach his 50.

Alton travel to St Cross next week looking to keep the un-beaten run going.

Scorecard –