Picture slideshow: Littlehampton go clear at the top with crushing win over Worthing 2nd XI

Littlehampton Cricket Club opened up a 17-point lead at the top of the Sussex League Division 4 West courtesy of a crushing victory over rivals Worthing 2nd XI on Saturday.

Louis Paul and Thomas Lee starred with the bat as James Askew’s side amassed a massive 349-5 from 45 overs after Worthing skipper Lloyd Osland decided to field first.

Paul came within a run of becoming the first Littlehampton batter to make a century this season, ending unbeaten on 99, while opener Lee made 91.

Ryan Budd then took centre stage with the ball, finishing with impressive figures of 6-16, as Worthing 2nd XI were all out for 102 in response - with Littlehampton racking up a massive 247-run victory.

Littlehampton, who went top after beating Chichester Priory Park 2nd XI last time out, now have a 17-point cushion over nearest challengers Horsham 2nd XI.

Following a fine start to this campaign, which has seen Littlehampton record wins in three of their opening four matches, skipper Askew knows his team can’t take anything for granted.

Louis Paul ended unbeaten on 99 as Littlehampton recording a resounding victory over Worthing 2nd XI. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Louis Paul ended unbeaten on 99 as Littlehampton recording a resounding victory over Worthing 2nd XI. Picture by Stephen Goodger

He said: “It’s still early days so we haven’t discussed promotion yet but anything is achievable at the moment.

“It’s nice to be top but last year we were only top for the last two weeks of the season, so being top at the moment doesn’t really matter.

“It has been a good start and the team is full of confidence.

“Louis (Paul) and Thomas (Lee) both batted really well and were unlucky not to reach 100.

Putting big totals on the scoreboard is good as it builds a lot of pressure on the opposition. Ryan (Budd) bowled very well taking six wickets. He builds a lot of pressure with his tight bowling and it was good for all our bowlers to get overs under their belt without the pressure of a tight game.”

Littlehampton were stuck in to bat but quickly went about racking up a massive total.

Lee (91) and Guy Souch (48) shared an opening stand of 157 to provide the perfect platform.

Jack Turner and Ally James (both 14) fell in quick succession but Lee continued at the other end. The opener would eventually fall nine runs short of his century, with Paul carrying on the flow of runs after he went. Paul smashed an unbeaten 99 off only 45 balls to put Littlehampton in command.

Skipper Askew crashed a quickfire 36 as his side racked up 349-5 off 45 overs.

Joe Westlake toiled with the ball, picking up all five wickets for Worthing 2nd XI.

Just three Worthing batters opener, Luke Winter (ten), Lloyd Crathern (15) and innings top-scorer Michael Cane (29), reached double figures as they fell way short in reply.

A superb spell from Budd (6-16) inspired Littlehampton. Opening bowlers McLeod Cox and skipper Askew claimed two wickets each as Worthing were all out for just 102 in reply.

Leaders Littlehampton host Henfield on Saturday.