Portsmouth CC lose opening-day nail-biter after stunning innings from debutant teenage tailender

A 15-year-old tailender produced a match-winning innings as Portsmouth lost a last-ball thriller in their Southern Premier League curtain-raiser.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 12:28 pm
Will Smitherman hit a half-century for Portsmouth in their Southern Premier League loss at Rowledge. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

They had looked on course for victory at Rowledge with the hosts still 100 short of their target when their sixth wicket fell at 119.

But schoolboy Olly Ryman - who was making his SPL Division 1 debut, having not even played a 2nd XI match - came in at No 8 to help rescue the situation.

He helped Jake Wish (83) to add 78 for the seventh wicket and along with 20-year-old Max Martin (10 not out) an unbroken 22 for the eighth wicket.

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Rowledge required 82 off the last 10 overs and 56 off the last six. They started the last over - bowled by Hemanshu Herani - needing nine.

They only required one off the last three balls and, after two dots, scampered the winning run off the last delivery.

Ryman finished unbeaten on 47 from 41 balls with six fours and a six as his side triumphed by three wickets.

Portsmouth were left to rue giving away 19 wides in a total of 33 extras.

Wish had held the Rowledge top order together after opener Ricky Yates and No 4 Zak Le Roux had been dismissed without scoring.

Andrew Marston (2-33) and Herani (2-27) were Portsmouth’s chief wicket-takers on a scorecard where Rowledge’s Ethan Martin was dismissed for hitting the ball twice.

Earlier, opener Jack Marston (53) and James Christian (39) had provided top order runs before No 6 Will Smitherman thumped four fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 56 off 46 balls.

That was Smitherman’s highest 1st XI innings for the club in league action since hitting 64 in an SPL Division 2 game against Bashley six years ago.