Week 4, 2017 – Alton Bashed
Since the opening day heroics things have not gone the way Alton would have hoped with two heavy defeats. Making the long trip down to the New Forest to face Bashley, Alton knew they would have to perform well against a strong Bashley outfit.
Skipper Myers won the toss and choose to bowl first, Alton hoping to take advantage of any early movement. Jamison started well beating the bat on a number of occasions. When Jamsion did find the edge of Digby Alton failed to take advantage and the chance was put down. Mortimer was also asking questions from the other end and when Gates misjudged a full toss he was hit in front and given out LBW for 24. Alton had the breakthrough and Bashley were 38 for 1.
Patrick Page a young Australian fresh off the back of a century the week before joined Digby as they looked to build a platform for the home side. Alton looked to keep the pressure on and restrict the home side, but Page looked to be aggressive. With both batsman approaching fifty Ballinger had Page caught in the deep by Mark Heffernan for 45. Bashley though were well placed at 127 for 2. Alton sensed an opportunity to restrict the home side. Skipper Porter was removed early, Mark Heffernan completing his second catch off the bowling of skipper Myers. Digby passed his half century before he was removed by Ballinger, Mortimer completing the catch at mid on. Bashley were now 137 for 4.
Young Matt Pein was making his first team debut and when he removed both Chris Ridley and Samuel Thompson in consecutive balls the home side had stumbled to 158 for 6. The young Alton seamer returning fine figures of 2 for 19.
Mitchell Wilson joined Chris Vaughan and with Alton unable to deliver the final blow they moved the score past 200. Wilson hit 3 maximums in the closing overs scoring 34 off 35 balls. Myers picked up 2 late wickets, Dan Harris catching Wilson & Mark Heffernan completing a hat trick of catches to remove Watkins for 11. Ballinger picked his 4th wicket and Bashley were all out for 240 with a ball to spare.
Alton were fairly happy with their work in the field and felt 240 was an attainable target. Unfortunately batting frailties came back to haunt the Brewers as they were blown away. Hammond and Heffernan started reasonably well against the pace of Barber. The former Hampshire and England U19 Barber was bowling with some real pace. Hammond seemingly in control pulled Barber away for 4 before being struck on the helmet. The very next ball Hammond was beaten my a full toss that broke his off stump in two.
Barber with his tail up found the edge of Harris the very next ball and Alton were already in trouble at 19 for 2. Myers joined Heffernan as the pair looked to rebuild, they negotiated the remainder of Barbers and Mitchells spells, but then a miss communication saw Heffernan run out for 18. Alton were now 60 for 3.
Things got worse for the visitors as Mark Heffernan drove in the air to cover 74 for 4 off the bowling of Ridley. Hugo Hammond tried to counter attack striking three boundaries but the returning Barber got his man before a full fast delivery struck Myers In front for 25 and Alton were staring down the barrel at 91 for 6. Barber had figures of 4 for 27.
Alton continued to lose regular wickets as they limped to 117 all out. Another disappointing performance from Alton, one they will look to put behind them as they host New Milton in the first of the seasons timed games.