Gemma Porter makes Alton first-team debut against Sarisbury Athletic

Saturday 21st May 2022 6:00 am
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Gemma Porter makes history as she receives her baggy blue cap
Gemma Porter makes history as she receives her baggy blue cap (Tindle )

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ALTON came unstuck as they attempted to make it two away wins from two, as a strong Sarisbury Athletic side came out on top in their Southern Premier League division one clash.

With opener Gonella and seam bowler Salmon missing, Alton made two changes, Hale coming into the side to open while Gemma Porter made history, becoming the first ladies’ player to pick up a baggy blue cap for playing in Alton’s first team.

Alton won the toss and elected to bat first.

Sarisbury began well with the ball but Hale looked in good touch as he struck four early boundaries, but when he drove in the air, fellow Australian Ronan DeGrussa had his first wicket, Nathan Feltham completing the catch at mid-off.

Hale was out for 17 and Alton one down for 26.

Alton were soon two down, Mark Heffernan falling in a similar fashion off DeGrussa, driving in the air and was caught at extra cover leaving his side 43 for two.

Alton passed 50 in the 12th over as Harris and Myers looked to move the visitors into a good position.

Harris was finding his range although when he drove a ball firmly down the ground, it struck fellow batsman Myers.

Skipper Myers was okay to carry on but the break in play saw Harris fall to the very next ball, Franklin beating the defences of the Alton opener and bowling him for a boundary-strewn 31.

Alton were 79 for three and when Myers (15) miscued Franklin to backward point, Alton were in trouble at 82 for four.

South joined Michael Heffernan as the pair looked to play risk-free cricket, and they edged the score into three figures just after the halfway stage.

But as they looked to increase the rate, Heffernan was trapped in front off the bowling of Sam Hill for 22, leaving Alton 127 for five.

Franklin took his third wicket – ending with three for 23 off his ten overs – to see the Brewers slip to 132 for six.

South then took ownership of the Alton innings as he moved to 50 off 84 balls. Walters struggled to find his timing and when he fell for 15, Alton were 185 for eight.

Arul Appavoo provided some late support as South struck some late boundaries, ending 75 not out off 100 balls with five fours and three sixes. It was a vital innings and gave Alton something to bowl at.

With a quick outfield, Alton knew they would need to bowl well and make early inroads. A wicket apiece for Walters and Appavoo saw the home side reach 41 for two.

But while wickets were falling, runs were flowing as Sarisbury passed 50 inside the ninth over.

Alton needed to stem the flow and Walters picked up his second wicket as Floyd was bowled for 17.

With Sarisbury teetering at 51 for three, skipper Hill and the experienced Ricky Rawlins saw off Walters’ opening spell and looked to bring parity.

The pair took advantage of anything loose as they moved past three figures in the 19th over, edging Sarisbury into a commanding position.

Vipers’ academy prospect Gemma Porter was brought into the attack. Rawlins tried to seize control but a mistimed drive to Crane at mid-off saw Porter pick up her first SPCL wicket, Rawlins out for 45.

South then removed skipper Hill for 33, edging to Myers at slip, and South capped a fantastic all-round display by taking one for 35 off his ten overs.

Sarisbury were 133 for five but with plenty of overs remaining, Alton knew they needed to take wickets.

The Brewers rolled the dice, bringing Walters back into the attack – but Sarisbury stood firm.

Walters was unable to add to his two wickets and the hard-hitting Nathan Feltham found his range, striking a brutal 64 off just 52 balls to ease his side to victory with time to spare.

Franklin ended 16 not out at the other end as Sarisbury made it home five down in the 39th over.

It was a tough day for the Brewers but they will look to bounce back today (Saturday) when take to the field in their first home game, facing local rivals Rowledge in a Herald derby at Jubilee Park.

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