Cricket: Hanley’s handy as Middleton extend their lead

Brandon Handley is congratulated on a wicket earlier in the season

Brandon Handley is congratulated on a wicket earlier in the season

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A fine team batting display and impressive bounce from the bowling arm of Brandon Hanley secured Middleton a vital victory at Pagham in their bid for promotion from division three west of the Sussex League.

With both teams happy to see Pagham inserted, Middleton captain Hanley (5-54) took it upon himself to rattle the opposition openers and caused the majority of the hosts’ problems.

Two wickets were lost early, but that brought in-form batsman Wayne Green and Kejel Tyson to the middle.

Green stuck to his method of brutal strokeplay, particularly on medium pacer Tommy Davies, before being well caught by the same man on 31.

Tyson (24) and Stuart Rutter (34) kept the scoreboard ticking over until fine fielding had them returning to the pavilion.

Billy Turner Hogg (20) scored at little under a run and ball and helped push the total along to 188, Pagham losing their tenth wicket with two balls to spare.

The Middleton reply was fast and furious with the score racing along to 61 for no loss after just six overs.

Jack Lerwill (42) hit everything in reach to the boundary and when he was out to pacy Peter Cotterill (1-32), the scoring rate slowed.

Ben Hansford (42) and Will Burrows (17) pushed the score along while the bowler causing main difficulties was Sean Rutter (3-60), while Sam Dickens’ (1-17) short spell meant Middleton’s victory was not at a canter.

With the score on 160 for six, 28 of the remaining required runs were scored by Hanley, featuring four massive sixes.

Middleton extend their lead at the top and promotion is on the cards, while Pagham are 72 points clear of bottom placed Littlehampton with four to play.