A good fielding performance was about the only plus for Chichester as they lost again in division two of the Sussex League and picked up only two points against St James.
After heavy rain in mid-morning, there was doubt over whether the game would be played. However with a lot of work by the groundstaff and excellent drying conditions, the match was able to get under way only 15 minutes late.
Chichester won the toss and elected to bat. The wicket had been covered but had been sweating under the covers and provided early movement and encouragement for the bowlers.
St James began strongly with the speed of Mali Richards – son of the legendary Viv Richards – and the controlled swing and seam of Van Niekker.
Chichester’s openers showed resolve but lost Michael Corrigan in Richards’ penultimate over of his spell. With Simon Hasted falling soon after, Chichester were in trouble at 15 for two.
Jay Hartard came to the wicket and looked to play positively from the off, taking the attack to the bowlers and wresting the initiative.
Unfortunately he received little support from the remaining batters, until the tail wagged with Joseph and Matt Geffen striking some lusty blows. Chichester were all out for 127, with Richards taking seven for 32.
In reply for St James, watchful captain Murray and the aggressive Din very quickly tore into Geffen and Joseph, scroing 79 from only 60 balls, while Murray finsihed unbeaten on 40.
Despite a good fielding performance, this was a day to forget for Chichester.
Their next opponents are Lindfield, while the second XI are at home to home to Haywards Heath.