Southern league T20 is back – and the Brewers were instantly back in the groove as they won a thrilling game at Gosport by six runs.
Batting first on a warm sunny day, Alton were boosted by a travelling contingent of supporters – including the ladies’ team whose game had been called off.
Tom South and Dan Harris got the Brewers off to a flyer as they scored 59 runs in the opening six overs of the power play.
Harris struck 31 off just 19 balls before misfortune struck. Backing up at the non-striker’s end, he could only watch as the bowler got his fingertips to South’s straight drive and the ball thumped into the stumps with him well short of his ground.
Alton were 71 for one and South continued in the same vein before being dismissed for 43 off 37 balls, with the Brewers on 93 for three.
Myers added 23 off 16 balls as Abeed Janmohamed made 21 to keep things ticking along.
Some late blows from Bash Walters saw him add a valuable 21 not out off just ten balls, including two sixes.
Alton closed on 171 for five.
On a fast outfield and with the hosts boasting some big hitters, Alton’s mix of youth and experience would need to bowl well.
Gosport got off to a good start, scoring 53 runs off the first power play for the loss of just one wicket.
The home side continued to attack and kept the run rate required in check.
Carpenter bowled a controlled spell and had Karippai caught by Walters for 29, before South removed Harrop for 34.
The home side were reduced to 93 for three and they reached three figures after 12.2 overs – and the chase was most definitely on.
South, Myers and Walters all picked up a wicket apiece as Gosport moved to 134 for six, Walters with the key wicket of Chicot who was on 25 off just 13 balls.
Young Toby Taylor bowled to Muhammad Ali and when Carpenter completed the catch on the boundary, Alton thought they were almost home – only for the home support to cheer as Carpenter could not stop his momentum and his foot just touched the boundary line.
Another maximum followed to leave Gosport needing 16 off two overs to win.
Young Vincent returned and bowled a super over, with the dangerous Ali caught in the deep by Heffernan for 19 as the penultimate over went for only five runs.
It was left to experienced skipper Myers to finish the job with Gosport needing 11 runs for victory.
Myers held his nerve, bowling a wonderful over and conceding only four runs and picking up a wicket as Gosport fell six runs short.
It was a brilliant game of cricket as the Brewers moved into the next round.