Cricket: Emsworth’s start isn’t so happy at Hamble

At last Emsworth were able to get their 2012 Hampshire League campaign started as the rain held off.

After an eventful 2011 featuring bicentennial celebrations, 2012 got off to a poor start with an away loss to GE Hamble.

Emsworth lost the toss and the opposition opted to bat first on a slow, spongy wicket.

They looked in trouble halfway through the 45 overs at 90 for six courtesy of Mick Offord (3-22 off ten overs) and Graham Smith (2-28 off ten), the spin twins clamping GE Hamble down with flight, loop and some turn and beating the bat many times.

GE Hamble got back on track with a blistering 65 from their No8 Daniel Burgess, who smashed sixes to all corners.

They finally finished on 211 for eight in their permitted overs. Emsworth set about chasing the score but got off to a bad start with the openers falling very cheaply and they were 15 for two after ten overs.

A very sedate start led into a very sluggish middle with wickets falling cheaply at regular intervals.

Some resistance came from Lee Gray at No7. He anchored the innings from overs 23 to 45 with a gritty 29 not out. Emsworth finally finished on 106 for nine, denying GE Hamble maximum points and taking at least some of their own.

The season may prove difficult in places, but hopefully there will be a silver lining at the end.

If Emsworth finish in the top ten, they will be promoted into the newly-divided division three.

Emsworth seconds and thirds both had their games abandoned because of the weather.