ALLY JAMES crashed an unbeaten 73 as Littlehampton Cricket Club got their title challenge back on track with victory over Broadwater on Saturday.
It was a fifth win in six matches for Littlehampton and it saw them close the gap on West Sussex Invitation League leaders Arundel, who lost at home to bottom-of-the-table Horsham Trinity, to 22 points.
James starred with the bat as his side chased down Broadwater’s total of 221 with six wickets intact.
The victory was Littlehampton’s sixth in 12 league matches and just 23 points now separate leaders Arundel and third-placed West Chiltington.
Broadwater skipper Paul O’Sullivan won the toss and elected to bat first at The Sportsfield.
Opening batsmen Corey Cogan (47) and Graham Waller got their side off to a strong start with a 107-run stand, before Cogan was out lbw to Ryan Budd.
Broadwater then began to struggle and the dismissals of Waller (67), Chris Green (nought) and Graham Merritt-Blann (one) saw them slip to 124-4.
O’Sullivan produced a fine captain’s knock, with 54 from 63 balls, and Bob Reynolds made 15 as Broadwater were all out for 221 in 47.1 overs.
Budd took 3-55 from 15 overs, Chris Heberlein claimed 2-52, Andy Greig picked up 2-55 and Harry Standing grabbed 2-8.
Littlehampton knew they would need to start well if they were to chase down their target of 222.
With captain and the league’s leading runscorer James Askew unavailable, Heberlein was moved to the top of the order and made 31 as he shared a 43-run stand for the first wicket with Tom Lee.
Lee batted superbly for his side and when he fell for 78, Littlehampton were in a great position on 178 for three.
James then took over and guided his side home with a magnificent unbeaten 73 off 69 balls, while Darren Bazley struck 12 not out as they got home in 43.5 overs.
Littlehampton face a tricky trip to Horsham Trinity on Saturday.
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