Brewers beaten heavily again

By Surrey and Hants News in Cricket

Making the long trip down to the New Forest to face Bashley, Alton knew they would have to perform well against a strong home side.

Skipper Myers won the toss and chose to field first, as Alton hoped to take advantage of any early movement. Jamison started well, beating the bat on a number of occasions. When Jamison did find the edge of Digby, Alton failed to take advantage and the chance was put down. Mortimer was also asking questions from the other end, and when Gates misjudged a full toss he was hit in front and given out leg before wicket for 24, leaving Bashley 38-1.

Patrick Page, a young Australian fresh off the back of a century the week before, joined Digby as they looked to build a platform for the home side. Alton aimed to keep up the pressure and restrict the hosts, but Page looked to be aggressive. With both batsmen approaching 50, Ballinger had Page caught in the deep by Mark Heffernan for 45, but Bashley were still well placed at 127-2.

However, Alton removed home skipper Porter early, Mark Heffernan completing his second catch off the bowling of skipper Myers, and although Digby passed his half-century, he fell to Ballinger - Mortimer taking the catch at mid-on - and Bashley were 137-4. Young debutant Matt Pein (2-19) then got rid of Chris Ridley and Samuel Thompson in consecutive balls, and suddenly the score was 158-6.

But Mitchell Wilson joined Chris Vaughan and Alton were unable to mop up the tail. Wilson hit three sixes in the closing overs, scoring 34 off 35 balls. Myers picked up two late wickets, Dan Harris catching Wilson and Mark Heffernan completing a hat-trick of catches to remove Watkins for 11. Ballinger’s fourth wicket dismissed Bashley for 240 with a ball to spare.

Alton were fairly happy with their work in the field, and felt their target was attainable. Unfortunately, batting frailties came back to haunt the Brewers.

Hammond and Heffernan started reasonably well against former Hampshire and England under-19 player Barber, who was bowling with some real pace. Hammond, seemingly in control, pulled Barber away for four before being struck on the helmet. The next ball, a full toss, broke his off stump in two.

Barber’s third destructive delivery in a row found the edge of Harris, and Alton were already in trouble at 19-2. Myers joined Heffernan and they looked to rebuild, but after negotiating the remainder of Barber’s and Mitchell’s spells, a communication breakdown saw Heffernan run out for 18, leaving Alton 60-3.

Things got worse for the visitors, as Mark Heffernan drove in the air to cover off the bowling of Ridley, making it 74-4. Hugo Hammond tried to counter-attack, striking three boundaries, but the returning Barber got him out, before trapping Myers leg before, with a full and fast delivery, for 25. Alton were staring down the barrel at 91-6 and Barber finished with 4-27. They continued to lose wickets regularly, and limped to 117 all out.