Dazzling Jones lifts Portsmouth

Simon Jones, left, celebrates taking a wicket for Portsmouth. Picture: Mick Young
Simon Jones, left, celebrates taking a wicket for Portsmouth. Picture: Mick Young
Chris Stone

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Leg-spinner Simon Jones celebrated his Portsmouth debut with a three wicket-haul in the five-wicket Southern Electric League division two win over Sparsholt at Clarence Parade.

Jones was only drafted in because of an injury to star-man Vikram Dawson but produced a dazzling performance of his own.

‘Simon has been around a while and been waiting a long time for his chance,’ said Portsmouth captain Dave Henderson.

‘He certainly made the most of it with a man-of-the-match performance.

‘His reward will more than likely see him dropped because Vikram, who is our best player, expects to be fit for the next match.’

Jones (three for 25) helped the home side bowl Sparsholt out for 210 runs, a target that posed the city club few problems.

The hosts lost two quick wickets after coasting to 40 for one but Henry Farrant (43) and Rich Locke (75 not out) steadied the ship.

‘We never looked in any danger,’ said Henderson.

‘Rich (Locke) produced a beautiful innings and Henry Farrant scored his runs quickly.

‘The title could be decided on Saturday when we take on second-placed OT’s.’

In division three, Waterlooville fell to a five-wicket home defeat against Basingstoke & North Hants II.

Aussie Blake Maher hit 114 not out in Gosport Borough’s seven-wicket win at St Cross Symondians.

He was ably supported by Geoff Pennecott (57 not out).

Matthew Johnson took three wickets for 36 runs, Maher picked up two for 28, and Dale Patternotte claimed two victims for 30 as Gosport wrapped up the win.