Portsmouth to hand debut to Army all-rounder

Portsmouth captain Rich Locke, right
Portsmouth captain Rich Locke, right
James Scutt. Picture: Mick Young

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Portsmouth give a debut to Sayeem Waliullah as they look to surprise Southern League division one leaders Calmore Sports at St Helens.

Waliullah has joined the club from premier division Andover after moving into the area.

The Army all-rounder is an experienced practitioner, having played Premier League cricket in a number of areas across the south of England, including Sussex and Bristol.

Rich Locke predicts he will be a very useful acquisition.

‘Initially we will use him as a batsman because he has a finger injury at the moment,’ said the Portsmouth skipper.

‘But when he is fully fit he will also provide a good spin bowling option.

‘He doesn’t live far from the ground and is really keen to get cracking.’

The hosts are in need of his talents after suffering another batting collapse against Hook & Newnham Basics.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Locke’s team were dismissed for a paltry 65.

The skipper admits there were no excuses for the poor batting.

‘The wicket might have done a little in the first four overs but there were no demons out there,’ said Locke.

‘We just pressed the self-destruct button with poor shot selection.

‘The top four batsmen all played on to their own stumps.

‘We were the victims of our own downfall and it is not the first time it has happened this season.

‘At times we tend to lose wickets in clumps and that is poor game management.

‘We have to take a more mature approach, value our wickets more and make sure we bat for the whole 50 overs.’

Portsmouth also have Reuben McCardle back from University of York and Ethan Randall available again.

Third-bottom Sarisbury Athletic continue their fight for survival against Bournemouth at The Hollow.

In division two, relegation battling Hambledon face leaders Totton & Eling at Ridge Meadow.

After pushing Lymington close, Burridge will fancy their chances at Alton in the premier division.