Kooner-Evans is Portsmouth’s all-round star in Southern Premier League win at Sparsholt

Joe Kooner-Evans produced a memorable all-round display as Portsmouth defeated Sparsholt in Division 1 of the Southern Premier League.

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 12:47 pm
Joe Kooner-Evans bowling for Portsmouth during their SPL Division 1 win at Sparsholt. Picture: Bob Selley.

First, he took three of the first four Sparsholt wickets to fall - all clean bowled -l as the hosts tumbled to 45-4.

Then, as Portsmouth looked like stumbling in their bid to chase 174 for victory, he compiled his maiden SPL half-century.

Kooner-Evans arrived at the crease with his side 68-3 having lost three wickets - openers Ben Duggan (39) and Jack Marston (15) and skipper James Christian (0) - for just four runs.

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Portsmouth appeal for a wicket during their SPL Division 1 win at Sparsholt. Picture: Bob Selley.

It was 85-4 when Will Smitherman (3) became the third victim for Liam Doran (3-34).

But Kooner-Evans found great support in No 6 Hemanshu Hirani (39) who helped him add 78 for the fifth wicket and swing the pendulum firmly back in Portsmouth’s favour.

Hirani hit four fours and a six in his 47-ball innings, while Kooner-Evans struck nine fours in his unbeaten 61 made off 54 deliveries.

There were still 20 balls remaining when Kooner-Evans struck the match-winning boundary.

Portsmouth's Dan Wallis takes a catch on the boundary against Sparsholt. Picture: Bob Selley.

Earlier, Kooner-Evans had helped reduce Sparsholt to 37-3 by clean bowling openers Lewis Mitchard and Dan Sumner.

He also rearranged the stumps of No 4 Doran before Thomas Ley led a fightback.

Ley, batting at No 9, hit an unbeaten 48 of 39 balls in an unbroken 44-run stand for the ninth wicket as the hosts posted 172-8.

*Leaders New Milton extended their winning start to four games with a tense four-run victory over Calmore.

Ben Perry needed to hit the final ball of the match, bowled by George Watts, to the boundary to tie the game - or hit a six to give Calmore victory.

In the end he did neither, Watts (1-19 off eight overs) instead rearranging his stumps.

Calmore would have been heartened after bowling out the table-toppers for 163. But Ed Bartlett (4-20) ripped through their top order in reply to leave them 58-5.

Calmore dipped to 113-7 before No 9 Perry (34) and Mike West (10 not out) came together to add 46 for the last wicket and ensure some frantic New Milton nailbiting.

South African Harlan Greig, who had hit 76 the week before against Sparsholt, again top scored with 51 for New Milton.