Alton beat Rowledge by 11 runs in thrilling Southern Premier League match

Thursday 28th July 2022 6:00 am
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Henry Amis scored an outstanding 82 as Liphook & Ripsley lost to Ventnor by three wickets in Division 2 of the Southern League

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The local derby between Rowledge and Alton served up an absolute cracker as the rivals gave a superb spectacle for Southern Premier League Division 1 Cricket.

Scott Myers won the toss and showed no hesitation in deciding to bat, although he would have been gutted to lose Mark Heffernan in the second over to a sensational one-handed catch by David Lloyd, to a dreadful half tracker.

That brought Huw Wheeler together with Abhay Gonella and the pair looked positive in attack and defence.

Wheeler – who Rowledge remember playing against when he was representing Hampshire Academy – played some delightful shots on the up and looked set to build an imposing score.

The veteran Lloyd was brought into the attack to stem the tide, and got just reward as he had both Gonella and then Wheeler caught behind by Ben Wish.

Wheeler’s 42 off 57 balls was a fine knock, and at 94 for three the Alton side had some rebuilding to do.

They had the experience, and knowledge to do so as Myers came together with Mike Heffernan to set about building a total on what was a flat track and a lightning-fast outfield.

Quick on their feet, and able to manipulate the field, the pair put together a chanceless partnership.

Lloyd’s ten overs went for just 25, but other Rowledge bowlers failed to find an answer as the Alton duo took Rowledge into the last ten overs and tried to bat their opponents out of the game.

Heffernan struck Ollie Baker back over his head for six to move to 50 as the partnership moved into three figures off 121 balls.

Alton moved past 200 with just under seven overs remaining as the pair upped the tempo to take the partnership to 150 off 149 balls.

Despite Will Ryman’s best efforts, who varied his pace deceptively, the pair put on 155 for the fourth wicket until Heffernan went for one shot too many and left, after making 76 off just 85 balls.

Myers was not done and the Alton skipper struck Richard Forbes for four to move to 99 and then calmly took a single off the next ball taking him to a fine century off just 99 balls including eight fours and three maximums.

He remained until the end on 105 not out off 103 balls.

The Alton score of 264 for five was a superb effort, but it was a definite day for runs

In reply, Rowledge got off to what is becoming a customary stuttering start, quickly being reduced to 35 for three.

Zac Le Roux and Olly Ryman played positively and looked to wrestle back momentum, putting on 56, as boundary fielders were circulating and singles were easy to come by.

Ryman departed for 26, and Baker and Le Roux looked to build another partnership. But just when things were going in the right direction again from a Rowledge perspective, 128 for four became 136 for six as both Baker and then Le Roux departed.

Le Roux departed for a well-made 52 off 65 deliveries.

Lloyd quickly came and went, and the run rate had risen to more than ten an over with three wickets in hand.

However, the Rowledge squad, which has shown to be the case all year, never give up, and Ryan Littlewood and Will Ryman came to the crease.

The pair were watchful before deciding to unleash a counter attack and drive Rowledge first to maximum batting points, and then to just see how close they could get to the target.

A 98-run partnership for the eighth wicket came about as the pair put on a brave fight, scurrying between the wickets alongside some powerful drives.

Will Ryman made his first league SPL 50 off 37 deliveries, with five fours and a six, and once he departed, Littlewood achieved his second league 50 off just 62 deliveries, including seven fours, as Rowledge finished 11 short of the Alton total.

Alton were indebted to overseas player Bash Walters who bowled three spells at very different stages of the game, showing skill and experience, and got just rewards with four wickets – and was the only bowler to go at under 4.5 an over.

It was an outstanding game, where the fielding on both sides was of a high class.

Rowledge remain second, but have a tough trip to league leaders Sarisbury on Saturday.

Alton take their good form into another tough clash this weekend when they take on Portsmouth at Jubilee Cricket Ground.

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