23rd May 2015
Superb Attapatu knock in vain as dropped catches cost Sway
HAMBLEDON 196-6 SWAY 173ao
Hants County Div 3 (South)
Sway suffered a third defeat on the bounce, despite a swashbuckling 91 from Nilantha Attapatu, and were left to rue a series of dropped catches in their loss at picturesque Hambledon.
After winning the toss and opting to bowl Steadman and Waller were off the boil for the first few overs until Steadman got the wicket of Le-Clerc – thanks to a smart catch by How. Two balls later and Steadman (2-23) had his second scalp and the bowlers were then on top – conceding a meagre 11 runs off the next 10 overs as Hambledon limped to 50-2 at drinks after 23 overs.
By that point Sway had already shelled three catches offered by home opener Dyer and he was dropped twice more afterwards on his way to 62, before being well caught by Steadman off Grasham.
There were a series of play and misses from the home side batsmen with the odd good shot, as Attapatu and Grasham toiled away without reward, while How claimed a wicket – and caught a nasty blow to the hip from an errant throw in the field by bravely played on.
However, as the innings got into its latter stages Sway became more ragged in the field – both batsmen were dropped, including M. Jones (73), before he smashed 22 off of one of the final overs as Hambledon set a difficult target.
In reply Sway were soon in trouble with Hall, Prince and Noble back in the hutch after 10 overs with the score on 23. Attapatu, who had developed a bad fever, and Grasham then came together and compiled an excellent partnership before the latter was stumped for 28 with the score past 100.
The rate however, had climbed to around eight an over for the last 15 and it proved to be too much for the visitors' batsmen as a series of players came and went trying to keep up with the rate.
Despite his illness Attapatu was the one batsman who shone, hitting a sparkling array of shots, including three huge sixes, to keep Sway in the hunt. But he perished short of a deserved hundred while going for a big shot as Sway ended up short.
John Waller — Reporter
New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times