A SPECTACULAR catch from Vikram Dawson proved the catalyst for Portsmouth as they secured a three-wicket Southern League division one win against Ventnor.
Home captain Rich Locke believes Dawson’s unbelievable caught and bowled effort, low down to his left to dismiss the visitor’s overseas danger man, inspired the rest of his team.
He is hoping it proves a turning point in the season.
Dawson’s heroics saw him finish with four wickets for 24 as he spurred them to their first win of the campaign.
‘It is easily the best caught and bowled I have seen in 25 years of cricket,’ said Locke.
‘Their overseas player smashed the ball back at him and Vikram dived full length to take the catch inches off the deck.
‘The ball was travelling at a phenomenal pace but thankfully for Vikram and us the ball stuck.
‘It was certainly Vikram’s day because he took another two spectacular catches, one in the slips and one in the gully.
‘His bowling was also right on the money, helping us skittle Ventnor out for a low total.
‘You could see right from the start he was a man on a mission.
‘As my vice-captain he likes to lead from the front and certainly did that in this game.’
Locke had read the riot act to his bowlers after the poor start to the season and it seemed to do the trick.
After winning the toss he put Ventnor into bat and after the visitors got to 46 without loss it was Jed Whitecross who made the first breakthrough.
Fraser Hay took the catch off his bowling and then Dawson made his spectacular intervention which saw Schaughn van Greunen trudging back to the pavilion after facing just three balls.
Portsmouth then ripped through the rest of the Ventnor batting which included the experienced Rob Snell.
He was another victim of Dawson’s catching prowess leaving Ventnor limping to 107 all out.
‘Our bowlers took the criticism on board which appeared to sting them into action,’ said Locke.
‘This was a far more disciplined performance.
‘They know that over the last few years the bowling has been our bread and butter.
The run chase, however, proved far from straightforward.
In the end a well managed partnership between Jason Palmer-Goddard (15 not out) and Prad Baines (12 not out) proved enough to get Portsmouth over the finishing line.
‘Ultimately it was a win and our first one at that,’ said Locke.
‘The challenge now is tying all the disciplines of our game together in the same match.
‘That will be the key for us during the rest of the season.’