‘We panicked and capitulated! It was a touch and go’ Portsmouth relieved to get over the line after collapse in key clash with Rowledge
Jack Marston admits Portsmouth lived dangerously as they bounced back to winning ways In Southern League division one against Rowledge at St Helens.
The home side sneaked to a one-wicket win after nearly throwing the game away.
Batting first Rowledge were restricted to 188 for eight off their 50 overs.
Despite losing three early wickets Portsmouth looked on course for a comfortable win when they reached 169 for five.
The loss of five wickets for 14 runs left them tottering on the edge. It made for a dramatic finish to what could have been a nice easy afternoon of cricket for the hosts.
Reuben McArdle and Andrew Marston held their nerve at the death to secure the winning runs.
Jack Marston said: ‘It was a close run thing but it shouldn't have been.
‘We panicked a bit. Mentally we capitulated. With our last pair at the wicket it was very much touch and go.
‘They looked like they could get the vital wicket every other ball.
‘Finally we managed to edge the ball down to third man and get over the line.’
Rowledge won the toss and elected to bat first on a reasonably good wicket with a little variable bounce.
The hosts failed to get early wickets but managed to limit the scoring rate.
In the latter part of the innings seam bowlers Jed Whitecross and Dan Wallis (four for 29) turned the screw even tighter.
Jack Marston praised the way the players coped in a difficult situation.
He said: ‘We used Jed at the end of the innings and bowled him in a single spell to stop his back seizing up.
‘Dan bowled a lot of slower balls with the wicketkeeper up and was difficult to get away.
‘They both kept it tight during an important spell.
‘I felt their total was definitely under-par and they should have been looking for about 220 at least.’
Portsmouth looked in trouble when they slumped to 22 for three.
Ben Duggan was run out, Matt Shaw chopped onto his stumps and Jack Marston was caught behind.
It looked fine while Aussie Fraser Hay (87) was at the wicket.
He managed five sixes and eight fours as he anchored the Portsmouth innings receiving vital support from University of Chichester student Wallis (66).
It all looked in hand until the late collapse.
Jack Marston is hoping his team can take the positives and move on.
He said: ‘It was an important win for us. We showed a big improvement in our bowling and fielding.’