Flurry of sixes of Kerala replace Portsmouth at the top of Hampshire League Division 5 South East

Pradheesh Panamchickal struck a flurry of sixes as Kerala 2nds leapt into top spot in the Hampshire League Division 5 South East.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 8:13 am

He smote six sixes and four boundaries on his way to 66 as Kerala, who started the day sixth, posted a daunting 282-6 against United Services Portsmouth 2nds at Rugby Camp.

Harikrishnan Korasseril had struck eight fours on his way to 91 while skipper Dawn Ambi was another to celebrate a half-century - three sixes and three fours in his 50.

Tawfiq Ahmed took 2-38 off his eight overs but Kelan Wilby conceded 41 runs off the 17 balls he sent down. Thomas Coombs, meanwhile, went wicketless in conceding 77 runs in his eight overs.

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Panamchickal completed a fine afternoon’s work in taking 3-21 off seven overs as US were restricted to 138-9, crashing to a 144-run loss in the process.

Nigin Abraham Varghese (2-22) and Jithin John (2-26) were also among the wickets with N 9 Iston Williams (39) top scoring for US.

Kerala therefore took full advantage of previous leaders Portsmouth 3rds’ surprise loss to Challengers Gosport at Privett Park.

Shijo Jose (4-14) and Robin Sebastian (2-24) helped restrict Portsmouth to 137-9.

Saf Musthaffa (25) was one of only two batsmen in the top to hit double figures, while the last wicket pair of skipper Simon Boorah (22 not out) and Andy Chapman (11 not out) offered some defiance.

Mahesh Sasi (76) underpinned Gosport’s chase, which was successful despite a middle-order collapse.

Simon Jones returned his best ever league figures of 5-21 - his previous high was 4-17 for Portsmouth 2nds against Rowner six years ago - but Challengers triumphed on 139-7 in the 28th over.

Portsmouth’s defeat saw them tumble out of the promotion places as Fareham & Crofton 3rds moved into second spot.

Peter Briggs hit his highest score since 2013 to help Fareham out of a tricky situation en route to a 60-run success against Wickham.

Fareham were 43-4 when Briggs walked to the middle, where he struck 11 boundaries in top scoring with 66.

That was the second highest innings of his league career - beaten only by the 108 he made for F & C 3rds against Rowner 2nds eight years earlier.

Jim Lee (36) helped Briggs add 69 for the sixth wicket, before Martin Greenwood (11 not out) helped Briggs add a further 36 for the eighth wicket.

The tail continued to wag with No 10 Gary West (19) sharing a 34-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Greenwood as F & C closed on 211-9.

Wickham, who are second from bottom, didn’t take up the offer to go all out for victory, replying with 150-4 off their 40 overs.

Nick Stothert top scored with 54 against some economical bowling from Chris Reynolds (2-21 off six overs), West (1-13 off seven), Briggs (0-6 off four) and Lee (0-16 off six).

There was an odd look to the scorecard as Havant 3rds were dismissed for double figures by Steep 2nds.

There were no clean bowleds, no LBWs and no run-outs - all 14 wickets that fell were down to catches.

Having been put in, Havant openers Ollie Perkins and Andrew Ransley took the score to 16-0 in the fourth over.

But the loss of the first wicket sparked a collapse which saw Havant crumble to 29-6 (Charlie Harrison 4-14).

No 9 Danielle Ransley was joint top scorer with 18 - along with David Burns - as they hosts were rushed out for 97.

Noel Baiju (3-24) ensured Steep’s reply got off to a poor start, reduced to 16-3.

But solid batting from Sean Noble (34 not out) and Rory Morris (24 not out) saw Steep home by six wickets.

Martin Bowman and Matt Stancliffe shared eight wickets as Rowner recovered from a shaky start to record a 99-run victory over Compton.

After being put in, Rowner’s top order was dismissed by skipper James Turner (8-3-11-4) before No 6 Lewis Haines (49) started a fightback.

Cris Kemp (26) and Lee Phillis (24) also hung around as Rowner eventually posted 181-8.

Stancliffe then took centre stage, taking the first four Compton wickets to fall - including dangerman Turner for a duck - as the hosts dipped to 27-4. Co-incidentally, Stancliffe was to end with the same 4-27 figures.

Having progressed to 72-5, Compton then lost their last five wickets for 10 runs with Bowman (4-19) doing most of the damage.

Portchester had the dubious honour of becoming the first team to lose to Old Netley & Highfields 3rds in league action this summer.

Asked to chase a 175-4 target, Harry Robbins’ side could only muster 134-9.

Shaun Kelly (30) top scored with extras (27) next highest.

Josh Wilkins had followed up his 104 for Old Netley’s 1st XI against Totton & Eling 2nds in County Division 3 South the previous week with an unbeaten 85.

Tom Bigwood collected his second five-wicket Hampshire League haul of the season as Emsworth 2nds defeated Solent Rangers 2nds in a dramatic finale.

Replying to Emsworth’s 159 all out, Solent appeared coasting to victory.

But remarkably their last five batsmen all failed to score - Bigwood (5-31) removing four of them and the other one being run out - as Rangers were dismissed for 155. Jisho Sebastian (61 not out) no doubt watched in increasing horror at the other end as wickets tumbled!

Bigwood - who had taken 5-18 against Rowner 2nds in May - also impressed with the bat, hitting an unbeaten 25 at No 10.

Opener William Pitts struck 30 while there were 49 extras. John Joseph (4-14) and Subin Joseph (3-14) picked up cheap wickets.