Rowledge have no answer to Jalill with the bat or ball
Rowledge came up against an in-form Portsmouth side – and despite continuing to compete and provide a good contest, came up short.
On what proved to be another belter of a track, which has continued to make huge strides in 2022, Rowledge won the toss and cruised to 82 without loss.
Unfortunately, given the start which promised so much the Rowledge innings did not flow as they would have liked.
Jonty Sebborn and Jake Wish looked promising, and then when Ricky Yates departed for 46 to the off-spin of Sri Lankan overseas Minhaj Jalill, Rowledge were having to re-start at 108 for three.
This was the start of Jalill having a major say in the outcome of the contest, as he whirled away varying his pace.
Building scoreboard pressure, he removed Ollie Baker caught behind to finish with two for 31 off his ten overs.
In the meantime, the in-form Zac Le Roux made a start, but just as a partnership with Will Ryman started to move, the returning left-armer Ashan Silva removed Le Roux for 34 and Rowledge’s innings was crawling at 162 for five.
Ryman found some keen allies in debutant Hugh Croft and then Max Martin, putting on 44 with the latter as he at first got himself in, and then looked to unleash a set of powerful drives and clearances over the legside boundary.
Ryman was eventually removed in the last over of the innings for 54 from 57 deliveries, containing six fours and a six, as Rowledge finished on 233 for eight.
While this would ordinarily be a good score, the home side’s track is such that it was below par.
In response, Richard Forbes quickly had Jo Smitherman snaffled by Jake Wish in the covers, and then Baker deceived Jamie Mitchell to be caught and bowled.
The margin for error was such that there was a great reward for quality batting and Jack Marston looked to back up his earlier ton against Rowledge with a big score again in the return fixture.
David Lloyd, though, had other ideas as he bowled Marston for 35 and at 73 for three the contest looked delicately poised.
However, despite some good bowling from the Rowledge attack – with spinners Martin, Baker and Lloyd again impressing – and some outstanding fielding, the Portsmouth duo of Jalill and Sunjeeth Daini had plans of their own.
Overseas star Jalill looked in imperious form. Patient, watchful and positive against spin, he was able to manipulate the field at will.
His innings was chanceless and he eventually finished on 106 not out off 89 deliveries with Daini 64 not out.
The duo would ultimately not give Rowledge a sniff and they led their side to a seven-wicket victory with a 163- run partnership.
The Portsmouth outfit competed well and their recent run of form is a reflection of the undoubted ability the side have.
Rowledge, on the other hand, with three games to go will be looking to respond in positive fashion as they travel to Ventnor on the Isle of Wight on Saturday.
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