Moon: No need to panic

jppp-18-05-11 spt-crichambports''Hambledon v Portsmouth on Saturday, May 14, 2011''Rob Jones batting for Portsmouth
jppp-18-05-11 spt-crichambports''Hambledon v Portsmouth on Saturday, May 14, 2011''Rob Jones batting for Portsmouth
Fidel Edwards bowled a six over stint of two for 15 Picture: Neil Marshall

Edwards doubles up to leave Hampshire in the hunt

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James Moon has surveyed Portsmouth’s slip towards the division two danger zone and declared: We’re too good to go down.

The skipper has seen his side tumble to third from bottom after last weekend’s five-wicket loss to Burridge.

A ton from former Hampshire batsman Derek Kenway sent Portsmouth crashing to a third straight defeat.

But after last season’s promotion from division three, Moon is determined to steer his side to safety.

And ahead of the trip to high-flying Rowledge, he is confident results will soon turn.

Moon said: ‘It was the Kenway show last week. We thought we had posted a good target but he batted really well and we didn’t bowl like we should have done.

‘But I don’t think we’re in trouble. There are three or four games we should have won and have ended up losing.

‘I think we’ll be fine. I’m not worried at all.

‘There are worse sides than us in this division.

‘We know we should have beaten teams we’ve lost to and we’ve been on the wrong end of some tight games. But Rowledge are a good side and we need to start performing as we can.’

While Moon was concerned with Portsmouth’s flimsy batting at the start of the season, his attentions have now switched to his bowlers who have been wayward in recent weeks.

And he admitted he has had to lay down the law – just as he did with the batsmen earlier in the campaign.

He said: ‘At the start of the season our batting was letting us down, and now that’s come through the bowling is starting to going wrong.

‘They are not bowling the right lines and some of them are trying to bowl too fast when they get frustrated.

‘I set a field and they don’t bowl to the plan and it makes it worse.

‘Sometimes you have to have a few words, but even though they are quite young, they have been playing cricket for long enough to know where to bowl.’

While Moon has been unhappy with certain individuals, he has been delighted with the progress of 18-year-old Rob Jones who has become a vital part of the side. Moon said: ‘He’s been awesome.

‘He is batting at number five and bowls six or seven overs every week – and it’s really helped him out.

‘He bowls big leg-breaks and got a half century last week and you can see he’s improving.

‘He’s got a big future and, hopefully, he’ll keep improving.’

Portsmouth are without Dan Cornish, so Dean Oliffe returns to the side.

PORTSMOUTH: James Wright, Farshan Jemildar, James Moon, Ed Lye, Rob Jones, Paddy Fullarton, Freddie Dare, Jack Fleming, James Scott, Dean Oliffe, Tom Sambrook