Middleton’s mixed weekend ... Pagham punish Park

Middleton's 2015 line-up / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Middleton's 2015 line-up / Picture by Kate Shemilt

It was a mixed weekend for Middleton in their battle to stay in cricket’s Sussex Premier League - they lost to Horsham but then beat the Sussex Academy.

Pagham had a comfortable win over Crowhurst Park at Nyetimber Lane.

Reports are below.

Middleton v Horsham

Sussex Premier League

Middleton’s league double-header weekend began with a home defeat to Horsham.

Middleton’s bowlers stuck to the task and a flurry of wickets saw four batmen fall in four overs.

Horsham skipper James Johnson opted to bat first, hot and sunny conditions combining with a team comprising quality leg spinners in Will Beer and Michael Munday clearly figuring in his decision.

With Horsham 92 for five, Middleton were asking questions of the batsmen, with left-arm spinner Max Ellis creating greatest difficulty, returning figures of three for 22 in his first ten overs.

Not for the first time this season, however, the Middleton bowlers were unable to capitalise on a good start and an undefeated sixth-wicket partnership of 163 between Horsham’s Barbadian overseas player Kevin Stoute (115) and John Burroughs (60) saw Horsham close their innings after 55 overs on 255 for five.

Middleton’s response got off to the worst possible start with Beck Hemingway run out in the fourth over without opening his account.

A good third-wicket partnership of 59 between Rob Willway and Sean Heather took Middleton to 97. But Munday dismissed Willway (37) and Heather (39) in the 25th over.

It took the Horsham spinners only a further eight overs to dismiss the remaining Middleton batsmen. Middleton were bowled out for exactly 150, just managing to earning a second batting point. Beer finished with four for 49 and Munday four for 64.

Middleton v Sussex Academy

Sussex Premier League

Weather conditions were similar to Saturday and once again Middleton found themselves in the field having lost the toss. The Academy proceeded to 90 for the loss of only one wicket.

Middleton’s bowlers stuck to the task and a flurry of wickets saw four batmen fall in four overs, reducing the Academy to 96 for five.

Middleton pressed on, bowling the Academy out for 177. The pick of the Middleton bowlers were Jamie Thompson (3-35) and Rob Willway (3-42).

The hosts lost opener Ben Hansford in only the second over with the score on one. However a partnership of 77 between Willway and Jofra Archer (50) and an unbeaten partnership of 100 between willway (65no) and Sean Heather (55no) saw Middleton win by seven wickets in the 45th over.

Middleton travel to Billingshurst on Saturday.

Pagham v Crowhurst Park

Sussex League division two

Crowhurst Park were invited to bat first and were soon in trouble, losing their top four batsman for only 27. Nabib Rahman and Mike Hales took two wickets each.

A mini revival saw the visitors reach 74 before the fifth wicket fell with the introduction of Justin Scott.

Wickets fell regularly thanks to Scott, who took the next four.

Rahman came back to bowl Clive Tong for a well-crafted 57. This saw Crowhurst Park all out for a below-par 128, Scott finishing with five for 13.

Although Pagham lost their usual couple of early wickets to get the opposition mildly interested, they did not have a great deal of trouble in reaching their target thanks to Hales (46) and Joe De La Funete (50*).

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