After a frustrating loss to Andover in the league on Saturday, many of the same players brushed themselves down and returned on Sunday to welcome Lymington for the next round of the T20 competition, with the winners guaranteed a place in the semi-finals. Winning the toss Portsmouth chose to set a target and bat first. Lymington opened up with ‘spin’ and it was not long before they got early reward stumping Fraser Hay (4) with the score on 17. Ben Duggan (35) was looking comfortable until his LBW left PCC on 44-3. With PCC on 61-4 Tom Wallis joined his brother Dan and they set about accumulating runs reaching 108 before Dan was caught on the boundary off a high full toss for 30. Tom was joined by the lower middle order who attempted to push the run rate and after the allocated 20 overs PCC had reached a total 131-7 with Tom not out on 33. Whilst it is difficult to assess what is a good total, the opinion by the non-playing supporters was that this looked a little light
However, starting with spin ourselves another set of brothers combined to take a very early wicket as Skipper Jack Marston took a fine catch off Andy Marston’s (2 -22) bowling and the visitors were 0-1 and soon 16-2 as Andy struck again. However, Lymington’s wicket keeper Gareth Schreuder steadied the ship and with their No 4 went about calmly chasing down the total. Neither looked totally comfortable, playing and missing, edging deliveries but they also were not offering many chances until their No.4 swung big at the bowling of Vikram Dawson, he is not the first batsman and he will not be the last to be fooled by Vikram’s bowling as the ball went high into the murky sky. There was still a lot of work to do as Ben Duggan ran in from the boundary and took an excellent catch - breaking the 78-run partnership. Lymington were now on 94-3 requiring an achievable 6 runs an over to overhaul the PCC target. What followed had everyone on edge as Vikram (3-26) combined with Dan Wallis (3-15) using all their skill and variations to help reduce Lymington from what looked a certain win at 104-4 to 124 all out.
As a reward PCC will face Alton at Alton on Sunday the 18th August
TERENCE TRENT DAY
Saturday saw a local derby as rare as a correct on-field umpiring decision at Edgbaston, which thankfully didn’t derail Pompey 2s’ season, as they ran out 91-run winners over Emsworth at St Helens.
Cloudy skies were looking down on a dry deck, making it a useful toss to lose. Pompey skipper, Nicky Wyatt, duly obliged, and his opposite number chose to be influenced by conditions above, by opting to bowl first.
Despite Wyatt Jason Roy-ing all around an early in-ducker (allegedly due to poor quality pre-game throwdowns), Pompey shot out of the blocks like a juiced-up sprinter, with Jamie Mitchell and Tom Wallis adding 123 from 20 overs, until the latter swiped and missed a looping donkey drop that was as unsightly as the boundary-laden 64 runs he’d compiled beforehand was sumptuous. Mitchell only added a further 7 runs before he was foxed by the non-donkey drop for 59, as Pompey dropped their guard and shipped a few punches with the score at 136 for 3.
A partnership of 48 from Dave Henderson (35) and a hamstrung (courtesy of a running mishap with Mitchell) Dom Wood (21) cleared Pompey heads over the next 10 overs, assembling a platform for the lower middle-order to make hay during the last 10 overs of the innings – and a quick 30 from James Holder, plus contributions from Henry Woolfe (14), Ishy Ahmad (9 not out), and Ethan Randall (4 not out), pushed Pompey’s total to a healthy 258 for 7 from their 45 overs.
Sufficiently sustained after an excellent Elaine Chapman tea, it was Emsworth’s openers that started brightly in pursuit of 259, putting on 62 for the first wicket. It was ‘Robot’ Rick Marston who made the initial breakthrough, inducing a heave across the line to have his man trapped lbw, en route to a typically frugal 1 for 25 from his 9 overs. At the other end, Ishy Ahmad was introduced to the attack in place of a stricken Henry Woolfe, who – in tandem with off-breaker Ethan Randall – ran through the visitors’ line up, and were at times unplayable on the worn St Helens surface, taking six wickets in 11 overs, and leaving the burly bouncer of defeat to give Emsworth an advisory tap on the shoulder at 123 for 7. Both Ishy and Randall rattled through their 9 overs straight off the reel, the former being the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 24, the latter taking 3 for 43.
Having opened the bowling in the last couple of games, James Holder was handed the cherry in the unfamiliar janitor’s spot, but managed to eke out another wicket; while some excellent work in the outfield by Dave Henderson helped take advantage of some calamitous running, to effect a run out, and put Pompey on the hill. Fittingly, Tom Wallis – brought on to bowl some filler overs – concluded proceedings by floating down a donkey drop of his own, to clean up Emsworth’s last man, with the score on 167.
A journey to Redlynch & Hale awaits, as Pompey’s finest are back on the road this weekend.