There were nearly 700 runs scored at the Middleton-Brighton game but not quite enough of them were for the home team. Meanwhile Chichester Priory Park took a big step towards safety after bowling out Billingshurst for 64. All the reports are below...
Middleton v Brighton
Second-placed Brighton won a very high-scoring tussle at Middleton, who stay a place below them in the table.
The format has reverted to 50-over games played in coloured clothing and with pink balls. High winds were the order of the day and rain was never very far away.
Brighton Middleton into bat. The best start of the season saw Middleton reach 195 before the fall of their first wicket, Harry Hovey being caught by Luke Wells for 110.
This was Hovey’s first century for Middleton since joining at the start of the season. His innings, which included 13 fours and four sixes, came off 105 balls. Skipper Sean Heather was next to depart for 76 with the score on 210, caught by Matt Machan – giving Revathi Kanuri his second wicket.
Mahesh Rawat took Middleton through to 343-5, finishing 83 not out – his runs coming off just 49 balls and including eight fours and four sixes.
Brighton openers Luke Wells and Bryce Hounsome did better than the Middleton openers, reaching 268 before Hounsome was bowled by Matthew Reynolds for a run-a-ball 105. Wells continued to bat well keeping Brighton up with the run rate until he was eventually caught by Brandon Hanley off Reynolds for 159, scored in 115 balls and with 16 fours and eight sixes.
Despite a further wicket for Reynolds, who finished with three for 75, and a couple of wickets by Craig Fowle, Brighton overhauled the Middleton score with just seven balls to spare, ending on 346-5.
Middleton travel to Cuckfield on Saturday.
Chi Priory Park v Billingshurst
Division two returned to the 45-over win/lose format as the season enters its final few weeks.
Chichester Priory Park’s final few games are against teams chasing promotion which has made their quest for survival a little trickier.
Blustery, overcast conditions greeted the players and Chichester’s captain Matt Geffen won a very important toss and asked the visitors to bat first.
Geffen has struggled for bowling form this year, but he returned to form in fine style. Taking advantage of the bowling-friendly conditions, the seam bowler took five wickets for the cost of just nine runs to tear the heart out of Billinghurst’s batting order.
With Geffen almost unplayable, Billingshurst were forced to take the attack to Chichester’s other bowlers. This was a day though when all of Chichester’s bowlers shone brightly as everyone chipped in with at least one wicket. Billingshurst were skittled out for just 64 inside 30 overs.
If one side can bowl well in friendly conditions, it stands to reason that the opposition can too. Billingshurst frayed a few nerves by reducing Chichester to 22-2 early in the chase.
Calm batting from Simon Hasted (13no) and a blitz from Abhishek Raut (16no) in his final game for the hosts saw Chichester over the line for a seven-wicket victory after barely three hours of cricket.
Maximum points take Chichester to 242 points and they are now 52 clear of relegation with just 90 available. The job isn’t over but this comfortable victory sees Chichester take a sizable step towards maintaining their status. They go to fourth placed St James’ Montifiore on Saturday.
Roffey II v Stirlands
Div 3 West
Stirlands travelled Roffey needing 30 points to keep their hopes of survival alive but unable to get them.
With rain and strings winds the order of play throughout the morning, it wasn’t looking likely the game would be on. But the rain ceased,and the game was changed to a 29-over fixture with Stirlands batting first.
Will Gubbins and Josh Taylor started well but Taylor fell while charging a spinner and this started a quick run of wickets for very few runs for Stirlands. They added only 30 more runs for the loss of four wickets and at 76-5 the innings looked near finished. Yet Jake Moores and George Briance fought back, adding a 40-run partnership, before Moores fell for 22.
Briance continued to fight and Stirlands finished with 136-7.
Roffey’s chase faltered early with Chris Webb falling early but strong batting from Anish Padalkar, despite wickets falling around him, brought Roffey to victory as he ended on 66 not out.
West Wittering v Barns Green
Div 5 West
Wittering elected to bowl on a heavy bail kind of day. James Munro (2-29) and Harry Staight (2-34) worked hard with and against the wind, restricting the openers.
Ross Muncer (12) and Steve Gent (51) were patient but Munro struck with two in two balls to remove their captain with a first baller. Joe Sissons (1-21) and Jack Harte (2-35) joined the party, bowling well. Joe Pink came on late and took 3-37. Barns Green finished 187 all out.
Liam Bates and the injured Brandon Trimmer opened up, but Bates (2) went early. Trimmer soldiered on, with support only from Gareth Lendrum (21), Munro (22) and 20 in extras. He battled to 57 before being caught. Wittering were all out for 132 in the chase.
Div 6 West
Aldwick’s first XI’s trip to face Crawley Eagles was ruined by the weather, but both teams got ten points. Aldwick remain top by 13 points with just three games to go and must watch out for Findon, who are now second.
Aldwick face close rivals Clymping II in an important game this week.
Stirlands II v Crawley Eagles IV
Div 8 West
Stirlands twos continued their good form at a windy Birdham against leaders Crawley Eagles, who won the toss and batted.
Freddie Burgess made the breakthrough, but wickets were hard to come by and the second wicket partnership took the score past 100. Stirlands fought back with wickets at a regular rate. Burgess (1-14), Alasdair Grant Grant (2-48) and Jason Moores all bowled well, helped by three run-outs that saw Crawley edge to 189-8.
In reply Mike Clowes and Oli Viner batted brilliantly to put on 100 for the first wicket and steady home nerves. Viner was eventually out in the 50s, Dom Fecher was undone by Shahzad Ali’s leg-spin and Clowes was dismissed for an outstanding 84 and John Fuller remained unbeaten on 30 as an impressive victory was secured in the 39th over.
Stirlands move in to third place.
Aldwick II v Broadwater III
Div 11 West South Conditions were murky but playable at the Felpham Oval for Aldwick twos’ clash with Broadwater III, and what transpired was an extraordinary game of cricket that contained only 16.4 overs in total.
atting first, Broadwater were rolled over for just 54 in 11.3 overs. Top score came from was extras with 15 and the only batsmen to make double figures were Mark Power (10) and No10 Mark James (12).
Aldwck’s opening attack of Josh Kemp (2-25) and Aiden Miles (5-19) ripped through the opposition’s batting line-up with ease creating five ducks in the process. First change Ian Guppy wrapped up the demolition job bowling just three balls but taking two wickets.
To be sure of the weather not spoiling their party, Aldwick openers Guppy (31) and Harry Rossor (26) lashed the ball to the boundary at every available opportunity and wrapped up the ten-wicket victory in just 31 balls.
Aldwick II remain third and have a week off this week.
Chi Priory Park IV v Bognor III
Div 11 West South
An excellent team performance by Chichester has edged them towards promotion, but there’s hard work to do.
Batting first, Bognor built runs through Joe Delaney, Babs Ahmed and Josh Mniffy but were all out for 137 in the 39th over.
Christian Elliott was run out by Theo Hughes while the Chichester bowlers shared the wickets – Jonty Stanford (1), Hughes (2), Roger Smith (1), Stanley Mayne (2) and David Graham-Wood (3) all in luck.
Steve Parker and Tom Phizackerley opened the batting with a flurry of fours but the champagne moment belonged to Elliott with a stunning catch on the boundary. It was down to Steve Price and Shivam Naik to complete the race at 139-2, achieved in 21.2 overs.
The winning runs came from Shivam in his last match for Chichester.