Goldstraw first to 500 wickets as Sarisbury shine

SARISBURY ATHLETIC bowler Dan Goldstraw took his record-breaking 500th career wicket in the Southern League to help his side topple premier sivision leaders Portsmouth.

Monday, 20th June 2016, 8:00 am
Tom Benfield batting for Portsmouth & Southsea, while Tom May watches on for United Services. Picture: Habibur Rahman (160902_8111)

Goldstraw became the first-ever Southern League player to achieve such a feat and he did it in fine style.

Starting a senior game for the first time this season he needed just one wicket to make history.

With his side batting first he was forced to wait for his opportunity but he was quick to take his chance once it came.

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The celebrations began when he clean bowled Portsmouth’s overseas player Fraser Hay to leave the visitors struggling at 26 for four.

The 46 year old went on to grab two more wickets taking three for 27 in his nine overs.

‘It is a remarkable achievement over a career spanning the last 20 years,’ said Sarisbury captain Matt Journeaux.

‘He only had one warm-up game with the fourth team before this but it was like he had never been away.

‘Though semi-retired he still enjoys it and it is a bonus to have him around for a few games.

‘I think he will have even more of the buzz back after this.

‘He still does the business, making the ball talk and causing batsmen lots of issues.’

The home side went into the game knowing they needed to win it to prevent the visitors opening up a big gap at the top.

Journeaux won the toss and took a gamble on batting first despite the conditions being a little bit wet.

The captain felt conditions were not going to change a lot and was happier posting a target.

His decision was soon vindicated as opening pair Ryan Covey (81) and Basil Akram (93) gave them an outstanding start.

The openers made light of the conditions to put on 150 runs for the first wicket.

When they departed Pete Hammond (25) and Journeaux (28 not out) continued the good work as the home side added 45 runs in the final five overs.

‘We felt 270 was an excellent total in those conditions,’ said Journeaux.

‘That is the third time at home that our openers have produced a century partnership and laid the foundations.

‘We would back ourselves to defend any total over 200 runs.’

Sarisbury’s momentum continued as Shayne Fremantle removed three of Portsmouth’s top four batsmen with less than 20 on the scoreboard.

Once Goldstraw removed Hay it was virtually game over.

Andrew Marston (22) and Rajeev Verma (26 not out) provided some respectability late on.

‘We were easily second best on the day,’ said Portsmouth captain Rich Locke.

‘It was a case of us not executing our skills well enough.’