Tiller: League table means nothing

Portsmouth & Southsea batsman Matt Benfield
Portsmouth & Southsea batsman Matt Benfield
New Hampshire signing Sam Northeast  Picture: Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Hampshire head to Northeast for success

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Portsmouth & Southsea captain Dave Tiller has told his troops to ignore the Hampshire League division one table as they prepare to take on Locks Heath at St James Hospital.

Tiller’s men are top of the pile but the experienced captain insists that means nothing.

‘We have only played three games because of the weather and still have a lot more to prove,’ said Tiller.

‘I have never known a beginning of the season like it where we have lost more games than we have played.

‘The league table means nothing and we shouldn’t get excited about it.

‘As Waterlooville discovered last week – they lost for the first time and went from top to mid-table.

‘If we are still at the top after playing our next four games then it might be different.

‘We have started well and I maintain that when we have our strongest side out we are more than a match for anyone in the league.

‘It will take a good side to get the better of us.

‘In winning our first three games we have played well and the players are feeling confident.

‘We know Locks Heath have been a powerful side in the last few years and they possess four or five very good cricketers.

‘But so do we. Our bowling attack is capable of getting in among any opposition and this season we have also strengthened our batting.’

At the top end of the batting, the home side have the impressive opening pair, Ash Wallace and Lee Evans.

Royal Marine Evans can go into the clash in great spirits after scoring an unbeaten 50 at Lords during the week for the Royal Navy in a triangular T20 tournament.

South African Wallace has already made a huge impression with scores of 100, 50 and 90 not out in his first three innings this season.

With Matt Benfield and Lewis Russell next in, Tiller feels he has a powerful line-up capable of big runs.

And with wicket-taker Alex Fletcher, travelling back from Nottingham University, the pacy, sharp Jonno Willey and Kenyan spinner Harsh Patel there is a strong all-round depth about Tiller’s side.

Bowler Dean Wilson is unavailable due to work commitments, so Ashley Fooks is drafted in from the second team.

Locks Heath got back to winning ways by beating Purbrook after suffering two successive defeats.

Portsmouth & Southsea: Ash Wallace, Lee Evans, Lee Russell, Rush Patel, Harsh Patel, Matt Smith, Dave Tiller, Ashley Fooks, Alex Fletcher, Jonno Willey.