Amport Village KO campaign off to a flyer

AMPORT’s Village Knock-out Cup campaign got under way with a routine win over Sway.

Under bright skies and ever increasing temperatures Amport’s openers, veteran Martyn Startup and newly promoted Major Ben Parkyn began the campaign to reach Lord’s.

The openers started cautiously but gained in confidence with every passing ball. Classic Parkyn shots to the boundary were matched by the wily Startup.

The first comedy run out of the season saw Startup sacrifice himself with 42 runs on the board.

Wickets then fell at inopportune moments just as batsmen seemed set, including that of Parkyn for 32.

After 25 overs at 85-4 Dean Woodhouse and Lee Ayres set about rebuilding but, just as it looked as if he was about to launch an assault on the bowling, Ayres departed.

This was the cue for Woodhouse to attack and sixes were launched and boundaries clubbed, before he was well caught at deep mid wicket for 57.

Peter Van der Westhuizen maintained the rate with a boundary-filled knock, and the tail ensured all deliveries were used up as 195 runs were posted after 40 overs.

In reply, the Sway openers were looking very settled until Parkyn produced an unplayable delivery that just trimmed the bails of the Sway opener.

Diminutive Alex Ayres then produced a fine diving effort behind the stumps to provide Robbie Skeetes with a wicket.

The loss of the openers then allowed change bowlers Ian Langdown and Woodhouse to squeeze the scoring rate and the Sway total went from 40-0 to 78-8.

Woodhouse ended up with five wickets to go with his 50, being denied a hat-trick when a very promising lbw appeal was turned down.

Brandon Smith claimed the last two wickets in two balls as Sway subsided to 95 all out.

A fine all round performance saw the village progress to the next round where they will entertain Tichbourne Park at the Peacocks on Sunday.

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