Club best for Gregory - but it can’t stop Chichester losing

Richard Logan bowled well, but that couldn't carry Chichester PP to victory
Richard Logan bowled well, but that couldn't carry Chichester PP to victory

Matt Gregory’s amazing club-record 163 not out was not enough to secure a win for Chichester against Eastbourne in the Sussex Premier League.

In fact, the game was a tale of two centuries as Eastbourne opener Mark Thomsett also cracked an unbeaten century in reply to secure the win.

Somewhat surprisingly, Eastbourne opted to field on winning the toss and after a relatively slow start Chichester progressed to 25 without much incident, but lost regular wickets after that.

The score was 97 for seven thanks to persistent bowling from Joshua Presland (6-112) and former England Test bowler Ed Giddins (2-44).

The wicket did not warrant such a low score and it was only when James Stedman joined Gregory that the Chichester innings gained any real impetus.

Stedman played the anchor role, which allowed Gregory to bat with freedom at the other end and his innings was a juxtaposition of classy strokeplay and power hitting.

When Chichester finished their innings at 234 for eight, Gregory had accounted for 70 per cent of the entire total.

At the halfway stage, Chichester would have felt satisfied having gained maximum batting points and would have hoped the Eastbourne reply would have started poorly after they had let slip a commanding position.

However, Sussex professional Ben Brown started positively and by the time he was out for 28, he and Thomsett had put on 68 for the first wicket in under ten overs.

Rather than going into their shell, though, the home side fought back through the miserly bowling of James Stedman (2-40) and the hostile Richard Logan (2-108).

Consequently, Eastbourne dug themselves into a hole as their reply lost impetus and they found themselves 125 for five.

Unfortunately for Chichester Thomsett was not one of those to go, despite being dropped without scoring, and he was the difference between the two sides as Eastbourne moved inexorably towards their victory target.

Chichester showed a great deal of fight, but simply did not have enough runs and the away side reached their target for the loss of six wickets with two overs remaining.

Chichester remain in mid-table and must look to the next game at Horsham for a victory.