View From Silly Point by Jamie (Mitch) Mitchell
Last week’s View contained a misspelling of ‘Portchester’, which came about due to this correspondent’s ignorance. To those that took offence at the lack of the first ‘t’ in PorTchester, I offer my most sincere apologies, along with an invitation to get over it - I’ve been referred to as ‘James’ in the Portsmouth CC website since joining in 2012, and an irrational response it did not prompt.
ISHY IMPROVES BALANCE SHEET
Pompey 2s returned to winning ways last Saturday at their St Helens HQ, thanks to a clinical bowling/fielding effort, in thumping a Locks Heath outfit that may or may not have “played the rain card” the previous evening.
The 8-wicket win has pushed Pompey into a perfectly neutral position, sitting exactly halfway up Hampshire League Div 2, with 7 wins and 7 defeats.
As so often seems to be the case this season, winning the toss proved crucial. On this occasion, on an almost-alien damp deck, with cloudy overheads, the visiting skipper called incorrectly, and Pompey’s Captain Caveman, Nicky Wyatt, chose to field first in a heartbeat.
Given the unusually cool and damp conditions, it took a few overs for the host’s opening bowlers to warm up. Once limbs were loosened, it was Ishy Ahmad who cut a swathe through the Locks Heath top order – sending down some near-unplayable deliveries to tickle the timbers of 3 of their top 5, and having another caught behind. Like Will Smitherman at teatime, Ishy did not want to leave the table, and after bowling 9 overs straight through, his ledger read 4 for 15.
The remaining top 5 batsman from Locks Heath may be owed a beer or two from his colleague, who pushed a ball towards the cover area, and called him through for a run. They however, severely underestimated Dan Wallis’ range, as the University of Chichester student swept in, again, like Will Smitherman at teatime, collected the cherry and fired in a throw on-the-swivel to the wicketkeeper’s end, where Wyatt (donning the mitts for the day) gathered Wallis’ throw on the half-volley and broke the stumps in one motion, with the hapless batsman barely halfway down the pitch.
The visitor’s middle-to-lower order wandered in and wandered out again like unwelcome cityboys at a rural boozer, as Ethan Randall (2 for 10 off 6), and Lee Hungerford (3 for 11 off 4) ushered them off the premises, to bowl out Locks Heath for a miserable 59.
With Collette still cooking up a feast in the clubhouse, the teams changed innings straight away, leaving Pompey 60 runs and Locks Heath 10 wickets away from being able to strap on the feed bag. Fortunately for the home side, it was the former, as Pompey took 10.1 overs to reach their target – losing only Rich Locke (10) and Will Smitherman (4) – guided by a scratchy 32 not out from Jamie Mitchell and Paul Hungerford’s regally entertaining 1 not out.
Our likely lads are back on the road again this Saturday, making the journey to 2nd-in-the-table Sway.