Double Hampshire Cricket League title glory for Portsmouth-based Kerala

Kerala are celebrating a Hampshire League title-winning double.

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:35 am
Kerala 3rds after winning the Hampshire League Division 6 South East title.
Kerala 3rds after winning the Hampshire League Division 6 South East title.

The club’s 2nd and 3rd XIs clinched the Division 5 South East and Division 6 South East championships on the final day of the season.

The 2nds hammered Portchester by 156 runs to top Division 5.

No 7 Pradheesh Panamchickal struck five fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 56 as Kerala posted 223-7 at Cams Hill School after electing to bat first.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Opener Jithin John (51) also compiled a half-century before Portchester were blown away for just 67.

Opener Sean Kelly (17) and No 10 Derek Kelly (11) were the only men to reach double figures against Imthias Manga (3-6) and Nimal Valsan (2-8).

It was the Portsmouth-based side’s ninth win in 10 completed matches.

Kerala’s 3rds, though, could better that record - they completed the 2021 Division 6 SE campaign with a 100 per cent record.

Dhruv Menon bagged 5-12 as rock bottom Emsworth 3rds were routed for 90 in reply to Kerala’s 231-6 total at Hollybank.

Prasad Panicker (64) and Rakesh Pillai (63) top scored as Kerala laid the foundations for a 10th successive victory (their other six games were rained off). Wicket-keeper Roni Thankachan (39) provided good back-up.

Portsmouth 3rds were also promoted in Division 5 SE, but without playing. That was because rock bottom Old Netley & Highfields conceded - the fifth time in 2021 they had failed to fulfil a fixture.

Railway Triangle, another relegated side, also conceded their fixture against Steep 2nds.

Fareham & Crofton 3rds finished third after skipper Roy Townson equalled his HL career best score in a win against Hambledon 3rds.

Townson had struck an unbeaten 121 against Purbrook 2nds in May 2019, and he repeated that feat with a 106-ball knock containing 11 fours and two sixes.

Usman Younas (34) helped his captain, who opened, add 135 for the fourth wicket after Fareham, asked to chase 195 for victory, won by five wickets with eight balls remaining.

Younas (3-28) had been Fareham’s chief wicket-taker after Hambledon had failed to build on reaching 154-3 (Jamie Lewis 47, Sam Kalra 33).

Compton produced an impressive recovery act to trounce Havant 3rds.

After electing to bat, Compton were 9-3 and 90-7 (James Turner 47) before Jonty Stanford (60no) and Alex Elms (55) put on 105 for the eighth wicket.

Matty Hayward was the pick of the bowlers with 3-28, including two of the first three to fall.

The Havant reply never really got going - struggling to 37-3 before collapsing to 44-7.

A 44-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Andy Ransley (39) and Tim Dix (13 not out) was the only resistance offered as Havant were skittled for 88 to lose by 135 runs.

Turner completed a fine day’s work with 4-19 and Ryan Dawtrey (2-25) and Stanford (2-23) providing back-up.

Wicket-keeper Mark Raven played a key innings as Wickham defeated Challengers Gosport by one wicket - their first win of the league season.

Asked to chase just 133 for victory, Wickham - who ended up relegated - collapsed from 56-1 to 69-7. They were later 97-8 (Shijo Jose 3-28) before being rescued by a 34-run stand for the ninth wicket between Raven (30) and John Gwynn (12 not out).

Martin Rowe (4-21) and Ajay Chetri (3-26) had made inroads into the Challengers order before No 8 Suhail struck an unbeaten 64 - next highest was just 18.

Tom Bigwood and Harvey Elliss both took 2-15 as Emsworth 2nds dismissed Rowner for 110.

Shaun Offord (2-20) and Mozart Kydd (2-28) were also in the wickets as Rowner’s decision to bat first backfired.

Clive Pailin (33) top scored as Emsworth won for the loss of six wickets.