Aussies take centre stage but it’s a derby-day draw at Middleton

Michael Spaseski hits out on his way to 155 for Bognor at Middleton
Michael Spaseski hits out on his way to 155 for Bognor at Middleton

Bognor fell short of taking the ten wickets required for a victory at the home of neighbours Middleton on a day when two big-hitting Aussies took centre stage in Sussex League division three west.

Middleton started well, winning the toss and deciding to bowl on a sunny afternoon which looked picture perfect for the Bognor batsmen.

Bognor’s top order were unable to cement a convincing start against the home side thanks to consistent bowling from Sebastian Gallagher (1-56 in 14 overs).

Bognor’s recovery came from Australian Michael Spaseski and James Fallick, who were able to put the pressure back on to Middleton’s bowlers with positive stroke play and sharp running.

The pair continued to find boundaries until Fallick was adjudged lbw off the bowling of Ben Hansford (1-16) for a valuable 44.

Spaseski was in destructive mood hitting an array of sixes, including some huge shots out of the Middleton ground to bring up his first league century.

In the latter stages of the innings, Spaseski was supported well by Graham Bush (41*). Spaseski was eventually caught and bowled by Brandon Hanley (1-25) for an incredible 155. Bognor declared for 308 off 52 overs leaving Middleton with a mountain to climb.

Middleton started in calamitous fashion losing both Hansford and Ed Towner to run-outs by Charlie La Foret and Max Ashmore. Bush (1-24) claimed Middleton’s other opener Jason Seary for six, caught by Fallick, leaving Middleton in a 11 for three.

Middleton began to consolidate with their Aussie, Seb Gallagher, and Sean Rebbetts at the crease.

Gallagher forced the issue with some attacking strokeplay, and the pair’s partnership passed 50 before La Foret (1-24) had Rebbetts bowled for 16 with a dream delivery which hit the top of off-stump.

Spaseski (2-61) was in the thick of things once again as he claimed his first wicket of the day with Chris Spedding back in the hutch for 15.

The introduction of spin saw Oliver Handson (1-24) claim Gallagher for 89. But Middleton saw off the remaining overs, with Will Burrows (31*) helping the hosts claim a draw as they closed on 204 for seven off 48 overs.