Positive Purbrook pleased to remain in position

Martin Lee
Martin Lee
Kyle Abbott Picture: Neil Marshall

Hampshire and rain frustrate Middlesex

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MARTIN LEE was able to look on the positive side after Saturday’s rain-hit clash with promotion-rivals Portsmouth & Southsea was abandoned.

The two teams are battling it out for one of the two automatic promotion places from Hampshire League division one.

Alton II have opened up a lead at the top and won on Saturday but Lee’s Purbrook side are second with Portsmouth & Southsea third.

Purbrook posted 186 all out before reducing their visitors to 35 for two when the match was washed out by rain.

Lee felt the match was in the balance when the bad weather arrived but at least it meant the opposition have to continue to play catch-up.

He said: ‘It was a big promotion clash.

‘It could have a big effect on the final outcome of the season.

‘The lucky thing for us is we are ahead on the average of points.

‘They still have to catch us so it was probably much more frustrating for them.

‘The outcome would have been quite close I think, it was leading up to be quite tight.

‘The match would have been interesting but the heavens opened.

‘They got a good start to their reply but then we took a couple of early wickets.

‘We had a spell when we didn’t go for many runs and the overs were creeping by.

‘If we could have got one of the two more out then it might have been really tight.

‘I would say it was probably about 50, 50 at the time we came off.’

Opener Lee top scored for his side with 57 but then they were unable to really push the score along.

They were bowled out for 186 from 47.5 overs.

The captain felt his side should have been over the 200 mark and that would have been tough to chase down.

He added: ‘We were going quite well with the bat until the last eight to 10 overs.

‘Clark Harding got 30 but we didn’t finish our innings as strongly as we should have done.

‘We should have got 20 to 25 more runs than we did.

‘The pitch was very soft, last week it was underwater and we had seagulls swimming on it.

‘So it was difficult to play shots.

‘It meant our bowlers had to really dig in.

‘We clawed it back with the bowling after they got 24 off the first five overs of their reply.

‘The runs were slowing, they dried up.

‘That was encouraging for us to see.’

Purbrook host Fareham & Crofton in a key derby clash on Saturday.