The Nyetimber Lane pitch gave no clue of the carnage that would unfold during a thrilling game which featured high-quality bowling as Pagham hosted Arundel in Sussex division three west.
After being put in, Arundel found batting very slow going. Wickets didn’t come instantly but Peter Cotterill (4-21) soon made up for lost time, taking four of the first five as Arundel were reduced to 31 for five.
He was replaced by Sam Dickens (1-3) who took the sixth wicket before Michael Hales showed his class as he ran through the lower order with five for 27.
A meagre total of 58 was achieved and Pagham believed the victory had already been ensured.
The quick turnaround may have been a factor in Pagham’s early demise, but swing bowler Harrison Temple deserves credit for Arundel’s fast start in the field.
The score read two for two, Temple taking two wickets in his first four balls. Wayne Green (23) calmed nerves with some brutal strokeplay but when he fell, as Temple’s fifth victim, with the score on 29 for five, the game was there to be sensationally won for Arundel.
However, Arundel’s back-up bowlers didn’t possess the same skill and consistency which had seen Temple finish with five for seven.
The sixth wicket was lost with the score on 42, which brought the nerveless Sean Rutter in. With Ryan Denyer (6*) refusing to be moved at the other end, Rutter, surely now justified as a genuine all-rounder, paid no regards to the delicate situation, smashing 17 at quicker than a run a ball, which saw Pagham across the finishing line.
It was Pagham’s third victory and it is now a month since they tasted defeat. They remain seventh but are viewing the top half, rather than staring nervously over their shoulder.