Littlehampton Cricket Club were once again pushed all the way – but they just about kept their winning West Sussex Invitation League Division 1 run going on Saturday.
James Askew’s side managed to successfully defend 174 to seal an eight-run win at Ram on Saturday.
Littlehampton overcame Eastergate the previous week, scoring the winning runs off the final over. This latest win takes their current winning streak to six matches.
A fine run of form over the past month or so has seen Askew’s side – in third – close the gap on place-above Felbridge & Sunnyside to seven points. They’re just 20 points behind leaders Southwater with a game in hand.
Littlehampton skipper Askew was delighted his side held their nerve when things got tough for the second week running.
He said: “It was another thriller coming right down to the final two overs. We managed to hold our nerve and secure another victory.
“The lads batted well and we knew we’d have to get a score of around 180 to have any chance of winning.
“It’s not an easy place to go and score runs with a slow outfield and inconsistent pitch.
“We knew at the interval if we bowled well then we were more than capable of defending 174.
“They came out and played their shots, which we knew they would, so even when they needed ten to win with a wicket left we still had the belief.” Askew chose to bat first but Littlehampton struggled early on in their innings.
James Askew (four), Thomas Lee (15) and Jack Turner (16 all went cheaply to leave the travelling side in trouble.
Lower-order runs would prove critical with Mcleod Cox (38), Chris Heberlein (25 not out) and an unbeaten 30 from Michael Askew getting his side up to 174-6 off 40 overs. Ram put up a good fight in response and so nearly got home. Opener Harshil Patel (25) and Dilip Chauhan (41) failed to carry on after making starts but once again late order runs would come.
Nishit Patel (31) and 12 from Ravi Shankar and Sandeep Shivamadaiah nearly got Ram home but they were all out for 166 from 38.4 overs. Nathan Perry ended with figures of 5-35 as Littlehampton crept home.
Littlehampton sealed their spot in the WSICL T20 Cup finals day on Sunday.
Askew’s side sealed a four-wicket win away to Division 1 leaders Southwater to ensure their hopes of retaining the trophy they won last season remain intact.
After being stuck in the field, Cox (4-16, Askew (3-20) and Andy Greig (3-18) saw Southwater bowled out for just 120 in 19.3 overs.
Littlehampton did lose six wickets in response but Ally James (46) and Jack Turner (27) helped their side to 121-6 with nine balls to spare.
Askew’s side are the first team to confirm their place in finals day on September 3.
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