Portsmouth dump Southern Premier League leaders South Wilts out of T20 Cup – but lose to Havant later in the same day

Portsmouth knocked Southern Premier League table-toppers South Wilts out of the T20 Cup at St Helens yesterday.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 12:35 pm
Andrew Marston on his way to an unbeaten 30 for Portsmouth against South Wilts. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Andrew Marston and Rueben McArdle shared an unbroken last wicket stand of 25 as the hosts won off the final delivery of the game.

But later in the day they failed to pull off a second shock as holders Havant progressed into the semi-finals.

Portsmouth were forced to play two games on the same day due to a fixture backlog caused by persistent wet weather this summer.

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South Wilts celebrate as Jack Collett trudges off after being dismissed. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The winners of the 11am start at St Helens then had a short journey to Havant Park where the quarter-final started at 4pm.

South Wilts, fielding a side that bore no resemblance to the one that sits top of the SPL top flight table, were inserted and quickly slumped to 20-4 - losing three wickets with the score on 20.

Opening bowlers Andrew Marston (2-14) and Joe Kooner-Evans (2-33) made early inroads before Stephen Riddle (41) and Tom Bolam (37) added 67 for the sixth wicket.

A South Wilts total of 118-7 looked a lot higher when Portsmouth were reduced to 14-3 in reply.

South Wilts appeal for the wicket of Portsmouth's Joe Kooner-Evans. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Nick Partridge (3-44) removed Jack Marston and Kooner-Evans for ducks while opener Jordan Palmer-Goddard (6) also fell cheaply.

Tom Wallis (30) and Joe Eales (17) took the score to 54, only for three wickets to clatter for just three runs.

James Brewer (3-25) looked to have put Wilts firmly in control when Portsmouth slipped to 70-8.

But Jack Collett (12) and Andrew Marston added 24 for the ninth wicket, before the latter dominated the match-winning last wicket stand with No 11 McArdle (2 not out).

Portsmouth batting against South Wilts. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Andrew Marston, batting at No 10, ended unbeaten on 30 - his side’s joint top score - as Portsmouth won off the last ball.

They didn’t have long to bask in the glory of victory as they suffered a 45-run loss at Havant just a few hours later.

The hosts were playing their first game of the tournament, having seen both previous scheduled opponents Tichborne Park and Ventnor withdraw.

Having been inserted, Havant opener Ben Walker top scored with 41 in his side’s 129-7 total.

Andrew Marston batting against South Wilts. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Richard Hindley was next highest with 23 - like Walker, he was dismissed by Tom Wallis (2-7).

Portsmouth produced an even worse start than earlier in the day, crashing to 27-5.

There were some economical four-over spells from Alfie Taw (2-12), Freddie Gadd (1-15), Walker (2-19) and skipper Chris Morgan (1-15) - all four taking an early wicket while captain Dan Wallis was run out.

Andrew Marston, promoted to No 7 in the order, again top scored - this time with 24 - but there were no more heroics as his side were restricted to 84-8.

Havant now face Bashley in next Sunday’s semi-final, with Hook & Newnham Basics hosting the Hampshire Academy in the other last-four tie.

Saif Achakzai struck an unbeaten 63 as Bashley defeated 2019 winners Alton by six wickets to book their semi-final trip to Havant.