When Chichester finally got their Sussex Premier League season under way, a spirited performance away to Preston Nomads resulted in a narrow loss - but the result could, and perhaps should, have been different.
Captain Mark Bamford had no hesitation in asking the home side to bat first on a damp pitch and his decision appeared to be vindicated as Preston Nomads were reduced to 49 for four.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals due mainly to the bowling of Australian debutant Adam Zampa (3-52) and Richard Browning (3-18).
However, Kashif Ibrahim played a vital innings which allowed the tail to wag and his knock of 36 proved the difference between the two sides.
Daniel Joseph (2-26) claimed the final Nomads wicket, by which time they had reached 134, a target the Chichester team would have felt confident in obtaining.
The reply started well with openers Bamford scoring a spirited 17 and Simon Hasted 18 against a fiery seam attack including Antigua opening bowler Carl Simon.
Debutant Will Langmead decided to take the attack to Nomads with a fine 43 and at 83 for one appeared to play the vital match-winning innings, but the fall of his wicket after the drinks break started a procession of wickets that Chichester could not recover from.
They slipped to 92 for seven following wickets from openers Simon (3-29) and Matt Hobden (4-34).
The game seemed to swing once more in Chichester’s favour as Richard Browning (21) and James Stedman compiled a partnership of 29, but Browning and then Stedman were lost, which left Daniel Joseph and Matt Geffen to secure the remaining 13 runs required.
Unfortunately a run out put paid to the victory chase as the visitors closed on 124 – 11 runs from their target.
Chichester acquired 10 points; Nomads the full 30. Chichester were disappointed with the outcome, but showed excellent signs in the field and go into the next game against Brighton confident of their first victory.