The UK Armed Forces four-game season has ended in defeat to professional opposition on the south coast. Under cloudless skies, Hampshire won the toss and put the military men into the field. However, the home side may have thought they had made a mistake when Royal Navy man Jon Parker dismissed Calvin Dickinson early on. Connor Reed took the catch behind the timbers with the county side 20-1. Out to the middle strode Zimbabwean international Sean Ervine who has been capped 47 times by his country including five tests. Parker, a veteran of Navy cricket and the wily campaigner, saw off his illustrious opponent second ball. Ervine who made his test debut at Lords skied a catch into the clutches of Tom Shorthouse to make the score 20-2. Not long afterwards Parker claimed a third Hampshire victim. Tom Alsop cracked the ball hard but only as far as UKAF skipper Adam Fisher who took a smart catch.
Hampshire recovered from losing those early wickets as former England Under-19 captain Joe Weatherley took on the Forces bowlers. Weatherley made the most of the short boundary to trike successive sixes. Fellow batsman Ian Holland was also going well by this point, with the score racing along. The pair put on 132 runs by the time Jonathan Boynton bagged Weayherleys’ wicket. He was caught by Parker for 65 with score 171-4.
UKAF kept plugging away as Hants lost four more wickets for the addition of 30 runs. Deardon eventually saw off Holland with an LBW. The danger man departing having scored 87 runs from just 43 balls including 11 boundaries. By the end, Hampshire had amassed 202-8 from their 20 overs. A good score and one that would challenge the Forces outfit. In reply, UKAF looked composed and with Reed whipping the ball to the boundary hopes were high. Unfortunately, he was on his way next ball, out LBW to Gareth Berg. Shorthouse tried to take the game to the opposition swatting the ball for six. Carmichael’s short innings concluded when he was caught by Ervine from Ajeet Dale’s bowling and UKAF were now 36-2. Shorthouse didn’t linger much longer as Dale took the second scalp and Hampshire took control. UKAF skipper Fisher gave a glimpse of his range of shots in his innings, making sure his side did not entirely fall away in the run chase. Fisher’s effort the standout display with the bat as he reached his 50, flicking the ball off his toes to register a well-crafted half-century. But when he went for 58 UKAF drifted to defeat, well beaten by the professional side.
The Inter-Services 50 Over Championship takes place at Vine Lane at the end of next month.