Sarisbury focused on batting improvements
PORTSMOUTH and Sarisbury are both looking to get back to winning ways as they face each other in Southern League division one action at St Helens.
The two teams have had mixed fortunes so far this season.
Portsmouth opened up with a win against newly-promoted Hartley Wintney before losing at last seasons champions Calmore Sports.
The visitors beat Liphook & Ripsley in their first game but then lost narrowly to Ventnor in their next outing.
Sarisbury captain Ricky Rawlins suggests the key to success lies in his side improving their batting.
‘We have struggled with our batting so far this season,’ said Rawlins.
‘Not many runs have been scored and it was particularly disappointing against Ventnor.
‘That was a hard defeat to take and we didn’t bat very well.
‘That is the only issue I have at the moment because our bowling and fielding have been good.
‘In fact it has been top drawer.
‘Taking wickets hasn’t been a problem.
‘We need to find a way to post a bigger total and our batting needs to be much more resilient.
‘I know we are a relatively young side but someone in the top order needs to stick around a bit longer.
‘This will allow the other players to bat around them.
‘We have the talent and quality in the team to do that.
‘It is just a case of them going out and performing.’
In their opening game of the season Sarisbury managed to defend a low target of 130 runs.
They almost managed to repeat the feat against Ventnor.
Opening bowler Andrew Ireland has proved to be a revelation.
The university student announced his arrival taking a wicket with his very first ball of the season.
‘Having Andrew come in has been great,’ said Rawlins.
‘He gives us a bit of pace up front which was something we lacked last season.’
The all-rounder also proved himself with the bat scoring 42 in the back end of Salisbury’s last innings.
Portsmsouth have Ben Duggan and Assad Abbas back.
They also have student Joe Kooner-Evans available.
‘It will be good to get back on home ground after last weeks disappointment at Calmore,’ said skipper Jack Marston.
‘Having Assad back gives the team a bit more balance.
‘I am expecting us to play our own game a lot better in our more familiar surroundings.’
Portsmouth: Ben Duggan, Jordan Palmer-Goddard, Jack Marston, Vikram Dawson, Matt Shaw, Assad Abbas, Paul Hungerford, Joe Kooner-Evans, Prad Baines, Reuben McArdle, Martyn Collins-Ballands.
Sarisbury Athletic: Ricky Rawlins, Sam Floyd, Dan Clouting, Tom Nightingale, Josh Hill, Andrew Ireland, Chris Sanders, Dom Sansom, Jordan Wright, Sam Hill, Phil Jewell