Young trio lead way for Portsmouth

Portsmouth batsman Jack Marston  Picture: Allan Hutchings
Portsmouth batsman Jack Marston Picture: Allan Hutchings
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The Marston twins were the teenage tearaways for Portsmouth as they led their side to a seven-wicket victory over Langley Manor in Southern Electric division two.

The 17-year-old Portsmouth Grammar School students excelled with bat and ball as Andy turned in a spin masterclass to pick up two for 22 from his 10 overs.

But not to be outdone by his sibling, Jack then hit 70 with the bat as he cracked 12 fours in 127 deliveries to set up the win.

The result fired the St Helen’s club up to third in the table as the local cricket scene finally rumbled back into life to beat the weather for a full round of fixtures.

While the homegrown duo played their part, there was more than a little help from the club’s Australian overseas recruit, Pat Burns.

He collected his first five-wicket haul in a Portsmouth shirt with a fierce spell of fast bowling.

The 22-year-old from Sydney has been left kicking his heels and probably wondering why he made the long trip waiting for some reasonable weather.

But he had already shown his potential amid the recent spate of cancellations and turned in his best performance yet with a destructive spell.

The talented pace bowler left the Langley Manor innings in tatters as he took five for 39 from his 10 overs as the home side crumbled to 166 all out inside 44 overs.

Jed Whitecross (two for 45) had earlier taken two quick wickets to make the double breakthrough with the score on 40.

But Andy Marston dismissed dangerous opener Graham Noble (32) before Burns took centre stage.

Hailing from the same Sutherland Club as Ashes-winning duo Shane Watson and Steve Smith, Burns ripped through the middle order to put his side in command.

Langley Manor offered some late resistance for the 10th wicket that added 41 runs.

That total never looked like being enough and that was soon confirmed when Portsmouth’s openers Jack Marston (70) and Jamie Mitchell (41) shared an opening partnership worth 138 runs.

Marston appeared to be guiding his team home, only to be eventually dismissed with the scores level.

But while he may be annoyed that he didn’t quite get the job done himself, it was a fine knock on a difficult pitch that ensured the city club secured their second win in three games.

Skipper Dave Henderson said: ‘It was a tale of the Marston twins.

‘Andy turned in a masterclass with a 10-over spell of spin bowling.

‘Then Jack opened up with a classy 70 on a very difficult, wet, pitch.

‘Pat Burns then destroyed the middle order – he was just too fast for them. But it was an emphatic win.

‘It now puts us up to third in the table and after weeks of rain-affected games it feels good to get some momentum to the season.’

Elsewhere in division two, Havant II served up a meek batting display as they were bowled out for just 89 in their defeat to Rowledge.

On a difficult deck, Steve Dean top-scored with 17 and four batsmen were out for ducks before Rowledge cruised to their victory target.