Skipper Martin Lee blamed poor batting as Purbrook made a disappointing start to their bicentennial celebrations with a 27-run Hampshire League division one defeat to Portsmouth & Southsea.
After winning the toss, the hosts bowled Portsmouth & Southsea out for 141 on a slow wicket at the Heath.
Unfortunately we let ourselves down and didn’t apply ourselves well enough with the batMartin Lee
Lee’s side, however, were soon in trouble losing three wickets for eight runs.
The captain manufactured 20 runs and, partnered by Josh Spiers (38), led a mini fightback.
Once Lee was run out, though, Purbrook were in trouble and finished on 114 all out.
It was the perfect start to the campaign for the visitors, however, following their relegation last season.
‘It was a disappointing result to start the season with, particularly after winning the toss and putting them in,’ said Lee.
‘We bowled and fielded well and when we went out to bat I thought we were in with a good chance.
‘Up until then I felt we had done the job.
‘Unfortunately we let ourselves down and didn’t apply ourselves well enough with the bat.
‘At one stage we looked like we might claw it back but I stupidly got myself run out.
‘That put the pressure back on us and gave our opponents the lift they needed.’
Earlier the visitors had opened the game in a steady fashion after losing opener Jack Davies cheaply – out leg before wicket.
Following that early setback, fellow opener Matt Smith (17) stubbornly anchored the innings until the 20th over.
He made sure the innings didn’t collapse on a wicket where runs were difficult to come by.
Lee (four for 30) and new overseas player Ben Skilton (three for 10) were the pick of the hosts’ bowlers.
When Smith finally departed to a spectacular Lee catch, Matt Benfield (41) importantly gave the innings further impetus.
In the closing stages of the innings Sam Treagus (17) contributed some much-needed runs, keeping his head while wickets were falling around him.
Portsmouth & Southsea’s Kieron Dunstan was delighted to make a winning start to his captaincy.
He felt it was just what was needed after last season’s relegation from the Southern Electric Premier League.
‘This is a hugely important win for us and sets us up nicely,’ said Dunstan.
‘We were disappointed to be relegated on the final day of last season.
‘This was the sort of tight game we would have lost last year so to get the win is very encouraging.
‘Everyone chipped in and it was a team effort which has given us a good sense of camaraderie.
‘When they looked like getting back into the game Tom Benfield ran their dangerman out with a superb piece of fielding.
‘I believe this will do our confidence the world of good and it is something we can build on.’
Chris Turrell (four for 23) bowled beautifully with the new ball ripping through Purbrook’s top order.
Dunstan (two for 19) and Jonathan Willey (two for 16) also picked up a couple of wickets each to ensure a winning start.