Skipper Ambi leads from the front as Kerala maintain Hampshire Cricket League promotion challenge
Skipper Dawn Ambi impressed with bat and ball as Kerala maintained their challenge for promotion from Division 3 South of the Hampshire League.
Ambi took two wickets and scored an undefeated half-century as the Portsmouth-based team claimed a five-wicket victory over Southampton Community at Rugby Camp.
It was their fifth win in six completed games and keeps them third behind Fair Oak 2nds and Mudeford who both remain 100 per cent.
Community chose to bat after Ambi had lost the toss and Nadeem Abbas (49) and Awais Ilyas (48 not out) helped them post 195-9 against Pranav Pathiyarappattu (3-18) and Ambi (2-33).
Wicket-keeper Prajun Kallidil (33) and fellow opener Pathiyarappattu (15) laid foundations when Kerala replied, but it was Jubin Karippai and Ambi who struck the bulk of the runs as their side raced to victory with six overs in hand.
Karippai hit 77 - his highest score for Kerala - and Ambi was 51 not out at the close.
Kerala next face Locks Heath, who moved off the foot of the table with a tense victory over fellow strugglers Verwood.
After dismissing their hosts for 98, Locks sneaked home on 99-9 with No 10 James Mitchell (13 not out) his side’s third highest scorer.
Verwood elected to bat first but Adam Brown (2-12) made early inroads.
The fact the Dorset club made it to 98 was mainly down to No 5 Dave Coy, who struck 55 - his 10 colleagues managed just 19 between them!
Locks captain Simon Stone dismissed Coy straight when he introduced himself into the attack - mopping up the tail to finish with 4-1 off 2.3 overs. Extras (22) were the second highest Verwood score.
Locks made hard work of their reply with Ali Gajic (3-16) dismissing top order trio Joe Baker (0), Justin Cousins (18) and Jon Whitfield (0).
No 7 Adam Brown (24) was to top score with extras (20) again next highest.
Locks, though, held their nerve to claim a second win in seven matches - though they remain entrenched in the three-team relegation zone.