Hampshire League top flight round-up – Blake and Hughes help Burridge hammer Portsmouth while Fareham & Crofton are thrashed by leaders Sway
Chris Blake and James Hughes struck unbeaten half-centuries as Burridge 2nds thrashed their Portsmouth counterparts in the top flight of the Hampshire League.
Both batsmen played most of the first month of the 2021 season in their club’s 1st XI in the top tier of the Southern Premier League.
But with Burridge inactive in the SPL at the weekend, Blake and Hughes took their place in the 2nds - as did bowler Sullivan White, another 1st XI regular in 2021.
Defending 170-9, the visitors made two early breakthroughs.
Burridge skipper Srujith Wickramasinghe was run out for 19 and opening partner Jack Slaughter (9) was dismissed by Joe Eales.
But they were the only joy Portsmouth had, as Blake (79 not out with 11 boundaries) and Hughes (52 not out with five fours and a six) took their side to victory with five overs remaining.
Earlier, No 3 Jordan Palmer-Goddard had held Portsmouth’s innings together with 7 - his highest league score since hitting 77 for Portsmouth 1sts in August 2017.
No 6 Matthew Walton (25) was next highest run scorer as the visitors struggled against Wickramasinghe (3-28) and former Gosport Borough bowler Sampath Prathapasinghe (2-19 off eight overs).
Fareham & Crofton suffered a day to forget against Sway at Jubilee Fields.
Starting the day top of the table after winning their only game that hadn’t been rained off, the visitors were handed a 111-run thrashing by a side who are now in pole position after their fifth successive victory.
Sway had been allowed to recover from 88-5 to post 217-8 with No 5 David Steadman (69) easily their top scorer.
Next highest was No 9 Jon Grasham (25 not out) and Fareham failed to help their cause by sending down 28 wides.
Chief culprit was Daniel Reader, who conceded 18 wides in recording 0-69 off his eight overs.
Dan Wimble (2-23), Angus Southon (2-32) and Blake Barnwel (2-35) were Fareham’s main wicket-takers.
The visitors’ reply got off to a terrible start with opener Morgan Frost and No 3 Steve Berryman both out for ducks.
It didn’t get much better after that and Fareham were a sorry 35-5 when Wimble (13) and Barnwell were dismissed with successive deliveries.
Skipper James Headen, batting at No 8, averted total humiliation by top scoring with 33. But even with Sway contributing 22 wides - Hugh Bernard conceding 14 of them in taking 4-27 off six overs - Fareham were still dismissed for 106 in 30.2 overs.
Bernard is the leading wicket-taker in the division with 15 in five matches, including a 5-6 haul against Compton & Chandler’s Ford.
Elsewhere in the county league top flight, there was an amazing game between St Cross 3rds and Bournemouth 2nds.
Ben Gould blasted 143 as St Cross posted a huge 300-6 total - yet they only ended up winning by three runs!
After electing to bat first, St Cross dipped to 30-3 before Gould came in to help opener Ben Foster add 182 for the fourth wicket before the latter was out for 51.
Gould powered on, hitting 18 fours and five sixes in his explosive 107-ball knock.
Bournemouth contributed 33 wides in a total of 43 extras - and they would eventually prove decisive.
Bournemouth needed a good partnership at the top of the order and they got it when Tom West (62) and skipper Jonny Coombs (67) put on 126 for the third wicket.
It was 189-3 when Coombs departed and 213-4 when West followed suit.
Bournemouth looked out of contention when their eighth wicket fell on 268 with 33 still required.
But No 10 Matt King (17 off 10 balls) and No 9 Connor Smith (10 off eight balls) set up a very tense finish to a remarkable game in Winchester as Bournemouth ended on 297-8.
Ryan Hale and Tom Flynn traded centuries as Alton 2nds pipped Hursley Park by just one run.
First, Alton opener Hale struck his 12th league century - 118 off 108 balls with 11 fours and six sixes - as his side posted 221-9 off their 40 overs.
Nilanka Kodithuwakku (33) helped Hale put on 113 for the fifth wicket before Alton’s tail failed to wag.
Hale’s league best knock remains his stunning undefeated 201 in a Hampshire League game against Whitchurch in 2006.
His 118 was his highest innings, though, since he smashed 159 not out in an SPL top flight encounter against Ventnor 11 years ago.
In reply, Park skipper Flynn hit 109 off 115 balls. Matt Branford (55) helped him add 113 for the third wicket before the latter was stumped off the bowling of Gemma Porter.
Park were in good shape on 180-3 but they finished agonisingly short on 220-8 when Tom Doherty was run out off the final ball.