Chichester still failing to top the Bill

Chichester fell short at Billingshurst
Chichester fell short at Billingshurst

Chichester made the journey to promotion-chasing Billingshurst looking for a win to kick-start their season of struggle in division two of the Sussex League.

Heavy rain the previous day had left the wicket damp and when Chichester’s captain George Stephens won the toss, he had no hesitation in asking the home side to bat first.

Billingshurst got off to the worst possible start when a mix-up between the opening batsmen saw Scott Stratton run out with just three runs on the board.

Stuart Barber and Mike Burroughs put on a half-century partnership before Barber was run out bysome excellent fielding by Beck Hemingway.

Billingshurst were finding the damp pitch was keeping the bounce of the ball low; however, there was the odd ball that lifted more than expected.

Tim Weston found this out when he was struck on the head by a ball that spat up from a reasonably good length. He immediately left the field and was later diagnosed with a fractured eye socket.

While all this was happening, Danny Mitipolaarachichi was batting superbly, compiling 83 from just 92 balls before he was caught in the deep off the bowling of Dan Joseph. This triggered a late flurry of wickets as Billingshurst closed their innings on 222 for seven.

In reply, Chichester lost both their openers before the score had reached double figures. Simon Hasted and Jay Hartard looked to rebuild the innings and put on a half-century partnership.

They both looked in good form but Hasted mis-timed a pull and was caught in the deep. Hartard soon followed as the home side’s bowlers gradually took control. Chichester struggled to get the ball away and wickets began to fall regually.

The final wicket fell to spinner David Dunn and the visitors were bowled out for 120. So another defeat for the men from Priory Park, this time by 102 runs. The wickets were shared among the bowlers with Ben Williams the pick with four for 27.

Chichester’s next fixture is at home against Ifield, the only side they have beaten this summer.