Eastergate and West Wittering slipped to defeats but Aldwick’s first team enjoyed a win.
See our reports below from the latest round of West Sussex Invitation League games.
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Crawley Down v Eastergate
Invitation League division one
After their opening-day win, Eastergate found Crawley Down a much tougher proposition and narrowly failed to salvage a draw – with their last wicket falling in the final over of the innings.
Captain Jamie Murphy won the toss and asked Crawley Down to bat. However a succession of dropped catches by Eastergate fielders let the batting side off the hook and Barker, Ward and Morley all scored rapid half-centuries for the home side.
Crawley Down declared at 251 for five from 46 overs, with Chris Brittain (3-46) and Jack Saunders (2-52) sharing the wickets. Sixteen-year-old Saunders was the pick of Eastergate’s bowlers on his first XI debut, with his left-arm quick bowling troubling the batting side.
In reply Eastergate were soon in deep trouble with the first six wickets falling quickly and the Crawley Down fielders taking some sharp catches.
From 59 for six, Ant McCormack and Murphy put on 63 for the seventh wicket with Murphy eventually out for a belligerent 42. McCormack – also making his 1st X1 debut – made an excellent 50, and together with last batsman Saunders, bravely held out against the Crawley Down bowlers until the fifth ball of the final 48th over.
Eastergate were all out for 155, the home side winning by 96 runs.
Eastergate – as in 2016 – are finding life away from home more difficult than at home. Eastergate welcome Felbridge and Sunnyside this weekend.
Barns Green v West Wittering
Wittering failed to chase a victory target of 161 and fell to defeat at Barns Green.
Fellow promoted side Barns Green won the toss and elected to bat on an historically-good batting track.
After a good first spell from the Wittering openers, Barns Green were pinned back by Harry Staight and Joe Pink, falling to 32 for three.
Barns Green settled and it became far tougher for Wittering, who were bowling well. A tight spell from Kevin Allsobrook built pressure and good areas from Andy Priest, Steve Day and James Staight’s leg spin ensured wickets fell.
Harry Staight returned at the death to mop up the tail, finishing with four for 16. Barns Green were all out for 160 and Wittering at the midway point were favourites.
Unfortunately, Wittering could not build a batting partnership. Only Jack Allsobrook, who reached 50, and Priest, who finished not out batting at seven, provided resistance.
Wittering finished on 126 all out and hope to bounce back this week when they face Brighton & Hove in their first home game of the season.
Ram 2nd v Aldwick
Maximum points were taken by Aldwick in their opening league fixture as they fight to get back into division two following relegation.
Batting first, Aldwick posted a healthy 173-6 from their 49 overs choosing caution over recklessness. Openers Ed White (33) and Dean Stokes (20) combined well in a 55-run opening partnership until they were both outdone by Ram’s bowler of the day, Amish Patel (3-37).
Further steady contributions from Ed Gyde (38) , Harry Rosser (37) and Dion Sampson (23*) ensured the visitors had a decent total to defend. The other wicket-takers for Ram were Kirat Patel (2-36 ) and Mitesh Patel (1-13) .
Accurate bowling and safe hand, including four catches by Olli Smith, ensured Aldwick came out on top winning by 21 runs as Ram ran out of steam, finishing on 152 all out in the 44th over.
Early inroads were made by Harry Rosser (2-32) who had both openers back in the pavilion without leaking many runs. Tariq Farhan (36) and Amish Patel (28) gave their side a faint sniff of a home victory but in the end this was crushed by the polish of John Young (4-39) and Grant Wilson’s 2-19.
This week, Aldwick host RMU.
Aldwick 2nds v Worthing 3rds
Sunday side Watersfield kindly let pavilion-less Aldwick II play their home fixture against Worthing on their ground. But the change of surroundings did Aldwick no favours as they were easily beaten by 82 runs in their opening league fixture.
Aldwick welcomed back Jonny Knapp to the delights of league cricket after a few seasons away and he quickly showed he had not lost any of his venom with the ball by being top wicket-taker, bagging 4-53.
With Knapp’s efforts, Aldwick were definitely on top but then S Kalra (60) and Thirumaleshwara Aup (38*) had other ideas and piled on 79 runs for the fifth wicket in a match-winning partnership. It could have been more but Liam Hicks (3-23) and Jeremy James (1-29) cleared up the tail as the visitors used up only 28 of their allotted overs.
Chasing 182, a few Aldwick batsmen made double figures – Paul Gibbs (13), Ian Guppy (23), Arthur Bradbury (13), Jeremy James (13) – but none of them could convert their good starts into worthwhile scores, which put their side on the back foot, chasing the game.
Penetrative spells from both James Belton (4-28) and Daniel Cannons (2-31) had Aldwick reeling and they were soon all out for just 99.
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