Joe Kooner-Evans destroys New Milton top order as Portsmouth hammer Southern Premier League Division 1 leaders at St Helens

Joe Kooner-Evans produced a stunning spell of new ball bowling as Portsmouth thrashed Southern Premier League Division 1 leaders New Milton.

Sunday, 20th June 2021, 2:11 pm
Joe Kooner-Evans took three top order New Milton wickets to set up Portsmouth's impressive nine-wicket victory at St Helens. Picture: Keith Woodland

Milton entered the game having won all four of their completed matches, while Portsmouth had lost four of their six.

But Kooner-Evans reduced the visitors to 4-3 at St Helens by removing opener Toby Edwards (0), in-form South African Harlan Greig (2) and skipper Lee Beck (1).

Amazingly Milton lurched to 19-5 when Kooner-Evans’ new ball partner, Henry Woolf, dismissed Joe Hall (2) and Ryan Beck (0).

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Campbell Goulding (40) and skipper George Watts (29) fought back with a stand of 58 for the sixth wicket, but Milton needed a last wicket partnership of 38 between Jack Humphrey (18) and Ed Bartlett (15 not out) to reach 132.

Kooner-Evans, who had bagged 3-19 in the previous week’s win against Sparsholt on his first SPL appearance of the season, claimed 3-28 this time.

Woolf returned 2-19 off his eight overs while Jono Brook dismissed both Goulding and Watts on his way to 3-24.

Portsmouth lost opener Jack Marston to the first ball he received, leaving them 5-1 in reply.

But that was the only wicket they lost as captain James Christian joined opener Ben Duggan to share an unbroken partnership of 131 as Portsmouth romped to victory in the 23rd over.

Christian hit 10 boundaries in his unbeaten 63 off 62 balls while Duggan hit eight fours and a six in reaching 60 not out - his highest league score since 2019 - off 73 balls.

Sarisbury Athletic slipped into the bottom two after a seven-wicket spanking by Sparsholt.

Josh Hill continued his fine run of form with the bat since taking over the Athletic captaincy from Ricky Rawlins.

After hitting 45 not out and 69 not out in his first two games as skipper, Hill again top scored with 42 - his seasonal SPL average is now 61.00 - as Sarisbury were restricted to 142-8.

Rob Franklin (32 not out) and Elliot Smith (29) were the only other men in double figures as Sarisbury crashed from 90-2 to 94-6.

Opener Dan Sumner (58) and Liam Doran (46 not out) eased Sparsholt to victory on 145-3 with nine overs and three balls remaining.