Joy for Kerala in Hampshire Cricket League curtain-raising win against Gosport Borough – County Division 3 round-up

Kerala lifted the curtain on a new Hampshire League season with a comfortable victory over Gosport Borough 2nds at Rugby Camp.

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 9:17 am

Opening bowlers Jithin Joy and Jinoy Mathai shared six wickets as the Portsmouth-based club bowled Borough out for 151 on the opening day of the Division 3 South campaign.

Joy returned figures of 3-24 off nine overs - and seven of the runs he conceded were wides. Mathai bagged 3-25 off eight overs as Gosport’s last seven batters compiled just 23 runs between them.

Robert Wood (41) and teenage opener Ephraim Royle (32) were the only ones to reach doubles - a whopping 40 extras, including 33 wides, boosting Boro’s total.

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Ephraim Royle, 15, batting for Gosport Borough 2nds against Kerala. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

It was still nowhere near enough, though, as Kerala romped to a seven-wicket success.

Presh Prasad (42) and No 3 Pradeesh Nair (26) helped Kerala to 100-1, with Prajun Kallidil (23 not out) and skipper Dawn Ambi (16 not out) unbeaten as the hosts won with almost 14 overs in hand.

They were the only side in the division to start the 2022 season with a 24-point maximum victory.

Opener Joe Baker scored his second successive unbeaten century as Locks Heath got off to a winning Division 3 start.

Rob Wood batting for Gosport 2nds v Kerala. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

A week after hitting an undefeated 112 in a friendly against Lyndhurst & Ashurst, Baker struck a career best 118 not out against Cadnam.

He still wasn’t his team’s highest scorer, though - skipper Andrew Booth plundering an unbeaten 127. Together, the pair added an unbroken 265 for the second Locks wicket.

Helped by 27 wides, Locks finished on 276-1 with Booth equalling his second highest innings - he had previously hit 127 not out against Sarisbury 2nds two years ago. His career best remains his 140 for Locks 3rds four years ago.

Cadnam never looked like chasing down their daunting target, finishing on 143-7 off 45 overs, Andy Newland (2-19) returning the best figures.

Rakesh Janardhanan bowling for Kerala against Gosport Borough 2nds. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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Portsmouth & Southsea 2nds suffered a batting collapse as they were thrashed by Calmore 2nds in their curtain-raiser.

There looked few problems when James White (27) and Sayeed Shahid (14) helped them reach 51-1. But five wickets then clattered for the addition of just four runs and the innings was in tatters.

The last nine wickets tumbled for just 35 runs as P & S were shot out for 86 - the middle order of Daniel Cleary, Tom Wheeler, Byron Johnson and Sesh Nadathur failing to score a run between them.

Kerala skipper Dawn Ambi bowling against Gosport Borough 2nds. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Pouring salt into open wounds, P & S bowlers then sent down 29 wides as Calmore raced to a nine-wicket success. Wides top scored, with skipper Matt Taylor (27 not out) next highest.

Will Bolton was agonisingly close to his maiden century as Sarisbury 2nds defeated Folland (Hamble) by seven wickets.

Bolton entered the game with a best of 68, compiled for Sarisbury 5ths four years ago. But he struck 15 fours and a six en route to 95 off 91 balls before he was dismissed with Sarisbury just 10 runs short of their 210 target.

Opener Bolton shared three successive half-century stands - 56 with Jack Robson (29), 84 with Simon Orr (45) and 63 with Matthew Reeves (24 not out).

Opener Ryan Fitsell (42) top scored as Fareham & Crofton 2nds were dismissed for 136 by Shanklin & Godshill. No 6 Peter Briggs (27) was next highest.

Robish Hentry bowling for Kerala v Gosport Borough 2nds. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

James Lucy hit 46 in reply as the islanders collected a comfortable six-wicket victory at Bath Lane.

Rob Wood batting for Gosport Borough 2nds. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Kerala's Rakesh Janardhanan shows his frustration. Picture: Chris Moorhouse