Captain Locke's lead role as Portsmouth charge on
PORTSMOUTH continue to blaze a trail at the top of Southern League division one after beating Basingstoke & North Hants by four wickets at Clarence Parade.
Rich Locke’s side made it five wins out of five with the captain leading by example.
The visitors were made to regret their decision to bat first as Fraser Hay (four for 40) and Vikram Dawson (three for 25) helped bowl them out for 118 runs inside 35 overs.
When Portsmouth club lost Jack Marston and James Christian cheaply at the start of their reply Locke feared a repeat of last week’s batting woes at Ellingham.
But Locke (60) made sure that didn’t happen and along with good support from Hay (18) and Dawson (10) saw the team home with 11 overs to spare.
‘It was surprising that Basingstoke opted to bat first in conditions where the ball was always going to move around,’ said Locke.
‘I will always trust our opening bowlers to make inroads.
‘Our consistent bowling put them under a lot of pressure and we kept our foot on their throat throughout.
‘After last week it was important we didn’t lose too many wickets early on and cause another panic.
‘We did lose a couple but we had plenty of overs in which to chase down a low score.
‘It was a case of remaining sensible and I needed to show that by sticking around myself.
‘With a couple of good partnerships it was pretty comfortable in the end.
‘We have made a great start and after being promoted are not where we thought we would be.
‘Success breeds confidence, though, and it is onwards and upwards for us.’
Sarisbury Athletic failed to chase down a target of 240 in their 58-run defeat at Rowledge.
Ryan Covey (four for 33) and Shayne Fremantle (three for 33) were the pick of the visitor’s bowlers after hosts Rowledge were put into bat.
Sarisbury found themselves in big trouble as they slumped to 47 for five.
It was a pretty miserable start which included losing three wickets without adding a run to their total.
Dan Clouting (53) and Freemantle (51) offered some resistance.
But the visitors were never in contention as they struggled.