Seven-up for Portsmouth but they lack fizz at Ridge Meadow

Mark Woodman bats for Hambledon. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (150613-2101)
Mark Woodman bats for Hambledon. Picture by: Malcolm Wells (150613-2101)
  • Hambledon give league leaders a scare
  • Pat Burns takes five in one-wicket success
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Portsmouth were given a wake-up call in their Southern Electric Premier League division two title charge on Saturday.

That’s the verdict of Hambledon skipper Rob Atkins, who watched with pride as his side gave the leaders a huge scare at Ridge Meadow.

Set 168 for victory, the visitors scraped home with just one wicket to spare.

Will Smitherman struck 58 as Portsmouth limped to a seventh consecutive triumph.

But according to Atkins, it was Matt Shaw’s unbeaten 37 which proved crucial.

‘I reckon we gave them a bit of a wake-up call,’ said the Hambledon skipper.

‘We were without three of our most gifted players but the lads really got stuck in and deserved more from the game.

‘I’m immensely proud of them all.

‘Will batted very well but it was Matt’s knock which made the difference. He gave the rest of their guys a lesson in how to guts out a result.

‘They may need a few more innings like that this season.’

Pat Burns helped himself to five for 24 as Hambledon slid to 118 for nine after being asked to bat.

But Mark Woodman (25 not out) and Prad Bains (18) frustrated the Portsmouth attack by adding 49 for the last wicket.

Bains, who was playing 
third-team cricket last term, then led the Dons attack with four for 25 as they had the visitors in real trouble at 23 for four and 129 for seven.

‘Prad was fantastic and has been one of a number of success stories for us so far this season,’ added Atkins.

Dons batsman Spencer Le-Clercq is set for a spell on the sidelines, though, after suffering a double break and possible severed tendon in a finger on his left hand.