Kerala maintain 100 per cent start to Hampshire League season with another Portsmouth derby triumph

Kerala maintained their 100 per cent start to the Hampshire League County Division 3 South season with another city derby victory.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 9:20 am
Matt Williams batting for Portsmouth & Southsea 2nds against Kerala. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

A week after beating United Services by two wickets, Kerala beat Portsmouth & Southsea 2nds by the same margin at St James’ Hospital.

Tailenders Midhun Shaj and Jinoy Mathai combined for a match-winning partnership after it appeared some wayward bowling had set up a home victory.

Kerala had conceded a whopping 44 wides as part of a 51-run extras haul that had helped P & S total 186-8 off their 40 overs.

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Kerala captain Dawn Ambi bowling against Portsmouth & Southsea 2nds. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Extras were easily the hosts’ top score - elsewhere it was opener Shaun Briggs (28) who scored most with the bat before he was dismissed by Jubin Karippai (3-22 off eight overs).

In reply, P & S opening bowler Dean Wilson (3-27) struck three early blows - dismissing Pranav Pathiyarappattu (10), Karippai (6) and Nimal Valsan (4).

And Kerala were in a sticky situation when Matt Williams (2-25) accounted for skipper Dawn Ambi (4) and Baiju Kurian (10).

Opener Prajun Kallidil held the innings together with 65 but P & S were still favourites when he was caught by Bryon Johnson off Jon Ashford (2-40 off five overs).

P & S batsman Bryon Johnson is about to be caught. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

No 8 Shah (36 not out) and No 10 Mathai (21 not out) came together, though, to take Kerala home with four overs remaining - the hosts contributing 23 wides in a total of 33 extras.

Locks Heath suffered a second successive defeat when Mudeford raced to an eight-wicket victory.

Opener Matt Wake (42) and Andrew Booth (33) were the only men in double figures as the hosts were restricted to 135-7 off their 40 overs.

Ronak Patel (2-18) and Ryan Attrett (2-19) both tied Locks down with miserly seven-over stints.

Dawn Ambi prepares to take a catch to dismiss Portsmouth & Southsea's Bryon Johnson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

In contrast, Mudford found runs easy to come by and won with almost half of their overs remaining.

Openers Alex James and Patel (44) wasted no time in setting up their side’s victory.

Tom Griffiths (2-34 off six overs) was the only Locks bowler to take wickets as James lashed 10 boundaries in his unbeaten 62.

Elsewhere in the division, New Milton 2nds were rolled over for just 50 en route to a nine-wicket trouncing by Fair Oak 2nds.

Portsmouth & Southsea's Conor Saunders bats against Kerala. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Toby Wolverson (4-25) and Andrew Mash (3-4) got among the wickets as Oak stretched their 100 per cent start to three games.