Jack Davies stars as Portsmouth & Southsea endure mixed fortunes in Southern Premier League and T20 Cup

Jack Davies returned to form as Portsmouth & Southsea endured mixed fortunes on a gloriously sunny weekend.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 9:27 am
Jack Davies on his way to 83 for Portsmouth & Southsea during Sunday's SPL T20 Cup loss at Ventnor. Picture: Dave Reynolds.

Davies entered Saturday’s Southern Premier League game against Hook & Newnham Basics 2nds having registered ducks in his previous two Division 3 matches.

But he compiled a match-winning innings of 67 not out as P & S survived some scares to notch up a second successive victory.

Davies also top scored in the following day’s SPL T20 defeat against Ventnor on the Isle of Wight with a blistering 83 off 50 balls.

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All eyes on this Portsmouth & Southsea fielder in the T20 Cup tie at Ventnor as he steadies himself for a catch. Picture: Dave Reynolds

That wasn’t enough to guide P & S to what would have been a stunning success - falling 25 runs short after being asked to chase over 200.

First change bowler Maxwell Goddard had made the breakthrough against Hook after openers Harry Warner and Tom May had put on 54.

Goddard (2-43) also dismissed top scorer Alex Brown (36) while Charlie Neville’s unbeaten 33 helped Hook reach 175.

There were tight spells from skipper Ben Saunders (2-15 off eight overs and Kieran Dunstan (2-21 off eight) while opening bowler Jono Willey took 2-38 off 7.4 overs.

Missed it! The ball sails over the head of the Portsmouth & Southsea fielder. Picture: Dave Reynolds

In reply, P & S crashed to 7-2 with Lewis Watts (2-24) dismissing opening pair Matt Benfield (3) and Tom Benfield (1).

And it was 58-5 when Neville claimed the wickets of Chris Bollom (4) and Alex Davidson (2) in quick succession.

But Davies, batting at No 4, rescued the visitors with the help of three lower order batsmen.

First, he put on 57 for the sixth wicket with Martin Lee (22) before Goddard (24) was the dominant partner in a seventh wicket stand of 30.

Tom Benfield is stumped Ventnor keeper Ben Woodhouse off the bowling of Toby Noyes. Picture: Dave Reynolds

Saunders joined Davies at the crease on 145-7 and proceeded to help him add an unbroken 31 for the eighth wicket as P & S won with seven balls remaining.

Davies’ 67 not out was made off 95 balls with seven boundaries.

His scoring rate was a lot higher a day later when P & S visited Ventor in the T20 Cup.

In fairness, it had to be after the hosts had won the toss and posted a daunting 202-6.

Portsmouth & Southsea keeper Alex Davidson has a close up view of Ventnor hitting out. Picture: Dave Reynolds

Opener Ross Whyte thumped four sixes and six fours in a 39-ball 79 before Anthony Alleyne hit seven of his 23 deliveries to the boundary on his way to 40.

Ventnor’s score was further boosted by the late impetus provided by Zeph Wells, who lashed an unbeaten 36 off 17 balls with three sixes and two fours.

Umar Khyam Malik (2-31) recorded P & S’ best figures, while Matt Benfield’s two wickets cost 41 runs in four overs.

Opening bowler Jono Willey conceded 29 runs off his 12 balls, and Saunders was hit for 11 an over off his three overs.

Davies was back at the top of the order when P & S replied, with Lee moved up from the middle order to partner him.

It was a plan which didn’t work, as Lee was out for a duck, and when No 3 Ollie Kanavan (1) departed the visitors were 22-2.

P & S progressed to 86-5 before Goddard (35 off 22 balls) joined Davies to add 70 for the sixth wicket.

Davies certainly has a liking for the T20 Cup. Last year, in the Plate tournament, he hit an unbeaten 90 in the semi-final win against Rowledge and 103 not out in the final defeat to Fair Oak.

This time he was within 17 of another hundred - having hit 10 fours and three sixes - when he was bowled by Sam Read (2-40 off three overs) to make the score 165-7.

That was, realistically, the end of P & S’ hopes and they finished on 177-9 against a Ventnor side who play a division higher than them in the SPL structure.