It was a tough week for for our top two Sussex League cricket teams.
In the Premier League, Middleton slipped to a defeat to Cuckfield, while in division two Pagham had too many runs to chase against St James.
Here are the reports...
Middleton v Cuckfield
Sussex Premier League
Never mind a game of two halves, the first innings was one of two halves.
Cuckfield, having won the toss, elected to bat and very quickly found themselves eight for five.
An opening four overs from the Middleton overseas Jofra Archer saw him taking all five wickets for five runs. It was a truly exceptional piece of bowling, with his victims including Sussex’s Steffan Piolet bowled for four.
Unfortunately for Middleton Archer suffered a niggle with his back and had to come off after his fifth over. Greg Wisdon, who had opened the innings, was joined by Marcus Campopiano and they started to rebuild the Cuckfield innings.
Campopiano was dropped by Archer in the slips with his score on 29, a miss that Middleton lived to regret. The pair put on 168 with Wisdon first to go for 60 and Campopiano going on to hit 123.
A late flurry of runs from Ben Candfield (34) and Nick Patterson (41) saw the visitors finish on 265 for eight, a score that could never have been contemplated earlier.
Chasing down a total like this is always tough but was made that bit more so by the manner in which the score had been arrived at. Middleton batters once again failed to go on to post big scores having made starts. Four got into the 20s but didn’t progress. Only Patrick Colvin fared better but he fell with his score on 40.
Middleton were finally bowled out for 165 in a game they will want to quickly forget. They will hope for better things this weekend when they travel to East Grinstead.
On Sunday Middleton entertain Ifield at Sea Lane at 1.30pm in the quarter-final of the county 20/20 competition. The winner will play East Grinstead in the semi-final later in the afternoon.
Pagham v St James Montefiore
Sussex League division two
On a superb batting wicket, St James had no hesitation in batting first and it was soon evident Pagham were going to have a hard afternoon in the field.
All the St James batsmen found the bowling to their liking and the runs flowed at more than six an over. Henry Sims (118no) starred and was ably supported by Sam Cooper (60) and Mali Richards (50no).
The only Pagham bowler who came out with any credit was Justin Scott who took two for 29 in nine overs. In the 49th over Michael Murray decided St James had enough runs and declared on 305 for three.
Pagham, who had three of their top five batsmen missing, made a steady start reaching 44 before both Mike Hales (23) and Stuart Hanks (19) were dismissed.
Ryan Barratt soon followed, run out from a deflection while backing up. This saw Eranga Dissangge come to the wicket and produce a masterclass in batting – he ended on 121 not out including 25 boundaries. He was well backed up by Nabib Rahman who hit a quickfire 34.
Although Pagham kept the run rate at five an over, they were never going to get 305 and eventually finished on 255 for eight, denying St James a victory which in the circumstances they had only themselves to blame for after such an unambitious and eccentric declaration.
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