The West Sussex Invitation League season is under way and Eastergate and West Wittering were among local sides in action on the opening day.
Their reports are below - and why not get involved in the coverage by sending your reports and team pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org?
Eastergate v Chippingdale
Invitation League division one
Eastergate started the new league season with a hard-fought win against newly-promoted Chippingdale in a 40-over game.
New Eastergate captain Jamie Murphy elected to bat on a decent-looking wicket. Eastergate were giving debuts to Doug Bentley and Jordan Samad.
Jack Stannard and Bentley got the innings off to a solid start with a first-wicket partnership of 57, before wickets fell at regular intervals with Stannard eventually out for an excellent 94. Eastergate reached 172 for eight with spinner Gary Mockford taking five for 28.
In reply Chippingdale made a solid start with the opening pair taking the score to 37. The crucial wicket of captain Josh Bourne fell with the score at 68, with Andy White taking a superb diving catch at deep mid-off to dismiss Bourne for 32 off Curtis Drake.
Eastergate were feeling confident with the score at 73 for five, but were held up by a partnership of 38 between Dan and Adam Robinson. Rejo Raju took a sharp catch off his own bowling to dismiss Dan Robinson for 28, and Chippingdale were eventually all out for 149, with Josh Cole taking two wonderful catches in the deep. All the Eastergate bowlers chipped in with wickets, spinner Ashley Rule taking three for 29.
Eastergate secured 30 points with a win by 23 runs and travel to Crawley Down on Saturday.
Balcombe v West Wittering
West Wittering visited Balcombe CC on a mild yet pleasant afternoon. Skipper Carl Tupper won the toss and elected to field.
After a slight hiccup, Balcombe started brightly and Stillwell, well supported by Blackburn, made his way into the 70s before Blackburn fell to Tupper.
Balcombe looked comfortable as Stillwell made his way through the 90s to make a fine century, before he eventually fell to Day.
Wittering took a series of wickets, leaving Balcombe all out for 206, with Tupper the pick of the bowlers with five for 35, a total the Wittering players deemed chaseable.
The Wittering innings started brightly, with Taylor and Lendrum scoring freely. However, a flurry of wickets left Wittering needing to consolidate, a feat managed superbly by Priest and Pink, with Pink the pick of the batsman for a reserved yet solid 53.
As Wittering looked to turn the screw towards the back end of the innings, key wickets fell at the wrong time, leaving the tail to ensure full points didn’t go Balcombe’s way in securing the draw.
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