Former Havant batsman George Metzger hits unbeaten 92 as Portsmouth’s Southern Premier League losing streak goes on against Basingstoke

George Metzger hit an undefeated 92 to steer Basingstoke & North Hants to a six-wicket win over Portsmouth at St Helens and into a challenging third place in Southern Premier Division 1.

By Mike Vimpany
Sunday, 1st August 2021, 1:43 pm
George Metzger hit an unbeaten 92 for Basingstoke & North Hants against Portsmouth.
George Metzger hit an unbeaten 92 for Basingstoke & North Hants against Portsmouth.

It was Stoke’s seventh straight win – one that keeps them within striking distance of Totton & Eling, who are 22 points clear at the top with four matches left, while Portsmouth were losing for the third match running.

Totton remain top after a six-wicket win at third bottom Sarisbury Athletic, while New Milton stay three points above Basingstoke.

Former Hampshire Academy batsman/wicket-keeper Metzger, who spent the initial two months of the season at Havant, hasn’t enjoyed too much batting time this summer.

But he cashed in at St Helen’s, scoring his 92 off 53 balls, hitting two sixes and ten fours in the process.

He thumped 20 runs off Henry Woolf’s solitary over and was particularly severe on spinner Jono Brook (1-63 off eight overs), whose errant leg-stump line was punished.

Basingstoke wobbled a little, skipper Dan Belcher (28) being among three wickets to fall for 27 runs at one point, but two maximums over long-on from Dean Nurse (25) ended any faint hopes Portsmouth had.

Brad Neal (2-16 off eight overs) was the pick of the Basingstoke bowlers as only Dan Wallis, with an unbeaten 78, made any real impression in Portsmouth’s 174-6.

Wallis, batting at No 3, was in early after skipper Ben Duggan, departed for five.

It was Wallis’ highest ever SPL score for Portsmouth, with his career best remaining 116 for the 2nds in a Hampshire League fixture against Hayling Island three years ago.

Tom Cheater returned an SPL best 5-29 as Sarisbury were dismissed for 148 by Totton & Eling at Allotment Road.

Jack Lovett (39) and Jordan Wright (30) top scored, with captain Josh Hill - fresh from his 223 for Sarisbury’s 2nds the previous week - reaching 27 before becoming one of Cheater’s victims.

Opener Harrison Clarke underpinned Totton’s six-wicket victory, hitting an unbeaten 60 as his side in the 34th over.

Sam Hill (2-17) and Wright (2-31) shared the four wickets to fall.

Sarisbury remain just above the two-team drop zone, following latest defeats for Andover and St Cross 2nds.

St Cross host Portsmouth next weekend.