Impressive Alton seconds rise to the challenge against Bramshaw
Amelia Marshall hit a classy 69. Picture by Korabella Heffernan
A young Alton seconds side impressed as they beat Bramshaw by four wickets in Division 1 of the Hampshire League.
They had arrived at the picturesque New Forest ground looking for a much-needed win.
Although the team had been playing some good cricket in recent weeks, some luck and circumstance had contrived to mean they had not won for four games – and badly needed a result to push themselves up the league table.
Despite the forecast of a hot and sunny day, there were a few showers before the start – and with the small Bramshaw boundaries, it felt like a good day to chase a total.
So when Alton skipper Andy Postles won the toss, he decided to ask Bramshaw to set a target.
Alton’s preparation was then disrupted when Postles – who is also Alton’s wicketkeeper – took a ball to the face in the warm-up and had to sit out the first 15 overs with ice on the injured area.
The colt Wilf Bridger stepped in to take the gloves, doing an excellent job, and Ian Carpenter took on the captaincy.
Although Alton bowled well in the first 15 overs, the small boundaries and having only ten men in the field made it very hard to keep the runs under control.
By the time the first wicket fell in the 14th over, Bramshaw had taken the score on to 71.
The talk was of a score well in excess of 300, but some excellent control from Derek Footit (two for 52) and Gemma Porter (none for 41) slowed the run rate.
Alton were pulling themselves back into the game and fielding brilliantly in the deep to prevent as many boundaries as possible – fours were becoming singles as the athletic Alton team dived and scrambled to stop every run.
Ethan Footit took over from Derek Footit bowling up the hill, and the extra pace and bounce became difficult for the Bramshaw batsmen to put away.
Ethan was the pick of the bowlers, bowling all ten of his overs for just 36 runs and taking three wickets.
At the other end, Nathan Vincent varied his pace and lines to make scoring difficult, taking two wickets in the process.
By the end of the innings Bramshaw had scored 272 for eight, J Booth top scoring with 73 and Simon Booth 59.
Alton’s reply started strongly, with Postles – who was fit enough to bat – and Sam Bridger regularly hitting the boundary fence.
By the 14th over Alton were 104 without loss and motoring along.
Postles was dismissed playing around a straight ball for 57 and Sam Bridger was caught for 59 in the 20th over with the score then on 122 for two.
The game was in the balance with new batsmen at the crease and plenty of runs still to get, but the colt pairing of Wilf Bridger (40) and Sam Crook (48) took the game on brilliantly, regularly hitting boundaries and confidently manoeuvring the ball around the field.
Wilf was bowled in the 34th over with the score on 196, bringing Ethan Van Der Linde – another bright prospect from the colt set-up – to the crease.
He continued with the chase, scoring 28 and taking the scores all the way to level before he was out.
It was an excellent show of maturity and calmness under pressure from the young man.
It was left to the pair of Ian Carpenter (21) and Porter to stay at the crease and knock off the winning run with 1.5 overs to spare.
The young Alton team should be very proud of this win – they had to adapt to team changes, injuries and changing weather conditions to overcome a talented Bramshaw team. The confidence should be high for this week’s home game.
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