Maclaren magic at Midhurst ... Salthill are kings of the castle

A last-day victory for Midhurst wasn’t enough to save them from relegation - but Salthill signed off with another win. Read about both in our latest Hampshire Cricket League round-up.

Midhurst v Shrewton

Hampshire League division one

Midhurst beat Shrewton at The Ruins in their last fixture of the season - but it wasn’t enough to stop them being relegated to division two.

Captain Tom Atkins recalled Tim Powell, Henry Rydon and Ray Reynolds, won the toss and decided to put Shrewton into bat on what looked a batting paradise. Powell and Finn Campbell took the new ball and Campbell making the breakthrough. Gillot launched into an ill-conceived cover drive and edged to third slip Powell.

Powell joined the party, taking the wicket of Burnet, caught at first slip by the dependable Michael Cox.

Recalled Rydon bowled a controlled ten overs for 41 and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket.

Young leg-spinner Cox was let down by a fielder dropping a catch.

Reynolds bowled a tremendous spell taking a deserved three wickets. Atkins chipped in with a wicket before Powell and Campbell took wickets at the death. But Shrewton batted admirably, setting Midhurst 294.

Atkins and Tom Hughes opened the innings for Midhurst with Atkins looking at his imperious best, punishing anything too short or full with immaculately-timed drives and cuts.

Atkins perished in the ninth over for 29 with the score on 74 when he attempted an audacious drive.

Cox and Adams looked in good touch but Powell and Reynolds didn’t trouble the scorers too much.

With Midhurst 123 for seven after 22 of their 50 overs, it didn’t look good for Midhurst.

However, Midhurst’s next pair had vastly different ideas and Christian Maclaren and Oli Calder set about building their innings.

Maclaren began striking the ball extremely cleanly and brought up a classy 50 with a crisp cover drive. They completed a fantastic hundred partnership leaving Midhurst only 70 to win off 12 overs.

Maclaren continued to keep up with the rate, hitting some powerful boundaries, including one six.

Calder supported with a vital 46 not out and the importance of this innings cannot be underestimated.

In the fading light, Maclaren took Midhurst to glory in the shadows of The Ruins.

Atkins said: “It’s Christian’s first-ever hundred and also set a new record eighth-wicket partnership with Ollie of 180. It was a onec-in-a-generation fightback. Good on him, great way to end the season.”

Portchester III v Salthill

Regional div three south east

In their final Hampshire League match of the season, Salthill faced Portchester III in the picturesque grounds of Portchester Castle.

A hot sunny day after a lack of rain made the pitch exceptionally dry and difficult in the field.

Portchester won the toss and batted. Wickets fell quickly early on before Portchester fought back through J Jeal (40) and M Dine (33).

Awesome Ashley Court and Josh Holder, the new opening bowling partners, took two wickets apiece, but it was the variation bowling of Graham Ruewell and Jack Holder that really brought the Portchester batmen under control with their tight bowling.

Ruewell and Jack Holder also finished with two victims apiece.

The reliable partnership of skipper Wallsgrove (23) and Almack got Salthill off to a solid start and the hard-hitting strokeplay of Jack Holder (26) pushed the runs along.

Another solid performance by Koblintz (14no) and Bishop’s quickfire 43 not out, including three three sixes and four fours, gave Salthill a comfortable victory.