Middleton denied in league - but make T20 cup progress

Mahesh Rawat is in great form for Middleton / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Mahesh Rawat is in great form for Middleton / Picture by Kate Shemilt

There’s action involving Middleton, Chichester Priory Park, Bognor, Stirlands and Pagham in our latest round-up from the top five divisions of the Sussex Cricket League.

Reports below - and pick up your Chichester Observer every Thursday for all the local cricket reports, pictures, fixtures, results and tables.

Ifield v Middleton

Sussex Premier

Sean Heather won the toss and decided to bat first, which on the hottest afternoon of the season so far, was welcomed by his team.

At 52-3 it was not the start they had been looking for, but when Mahesh Rawat joined Heather, who had opened, the pair put on 164 for the fourth wicket.

They will be slightly concerned they are closer to the bottom than the top in terms of points; however, the league is unpredictable, as Chichester have shown.

Heather was finally dismissed for 95 but Rawat went on to record his third century of the season, ending 110 not out. A quickfire 36 from Patrick Colvin saw Middleton close on 274-5 from 55 overs.

Only Ifield’s Mike Norris really looked capable of scoring the runs needed but he was ninth out for 81. There followed a last-wicket partnership of three in the final 5 overs of the game which saw Ifield close on 198-9 denying Middleton maximum points.

Craig Fowle took 4-71, Matthew Reynolds 2-41 and Rusell Talman 3-34 for Middleton.

Middleton v Eastbourne

Sussex League T20 QF

Middleton won the toss and elected to bat at Sea Lane.

Heather and Rawat carried on their form from the previous day, putting on 74 for the second wicket. Heather showed what a superb T20 player he is, scoring 63 off just 37 balls including ten fours and one six.

Rawat carried on to score 78 not out, his runs coming from 50 balls including 11 fours and one six. Middleton finished on 182-4.

Eastbourne lost regular wickets, with none of their batters managing to get going. They were bowled out in 18 overs for 123. Matthew Reynolds took 3-29 and Patrick Colvin, with four catches, was the fielder of the day.

Bexhill v Bognor

Sussex League Division 2

Bexhill batted first and were on the back foot as early salvos from Marquino Mindley, Josh Sargeant and Scott Bingham reduced to the hosts to 50-5 and then 114-6.

Resistance from Shawn Johnson for Bexhill with 54 not out saw the hosts push forward but the returning Mindley with 4-50 and Sargeant with 4-47 saw Bexhill all out for 189.

In reply a well-paced 40 from Josh Seward and 78 from skipper Ryan Maskell saw Bognor reach 167-5, the odds were looking good for the visitors. However, Neil Blatchly pulled the rug out from Bognor’s feet taking 5-53 and seeing Bognor all out for 172.

St James Montefiore v Chichester

Div 2

After a good victory against Billingshurst, Chichester failed to carry that momentum into their visit to St James’ Montefiore.

Blisteringly hot conditions greeted the players and it was a long day for both sides in the sun. Chichester won the toss and decided to bat first on the rock-hard wicket.

The visitors were led away by a quickfire half century from opener Peter Lamb (55). He was back up with another half century from Matt Bennison (51) who put on 70 with Joe De La Fuente (31).

Wickets were lost in the pursuit of quick runs at the end of the innings but Chichester were pleased to close on 216-8 after 53 overs. Another solid batting display from the team bagged them maximum bonus points.

Magnus Kristensen grabbed two early wickets for the visitors as St James stumbled to 14-2 in their chase. Then the bowling attack ran into the immovable Harry Rollings. He put on 99 with Toby Pullan (34) and 51 with Ollie Bradley (38no) on his way to his first century of the year.

Chichester grabbed two quick wickets, including Rollings (108) but Bradley and Jordan Rollings (27no) saw the hosts home to a five-wicket victory.

At the halfway point of the season Chichester sit fifth with 146 points. They will be slightly concerned they are closer to the bottom than the top in terms of points; however, the league is unpredictable, as Chichester have shown by beating two of the top four teams so far. The second half of the season begins with a trip to bottom team Lindfield on Saturday.

Pagham v Stirlands

Div 3

Pagham decided to bat first on a superb wicket but still managed to lose their first five wickets with only 81 on the board.

At this point Rico Webb decided attack was the best way forward scoring 83 in 51 balls, including six sixes and eight fours. With good support and 56 from skipper Staurt Hanks, Pagham ended on 229 all out.

Don Mugford (5-35) was the pick of the Stirlands bowlers.

New ball pair Jamaine Bullen and Mugford tested Pagham openers Jack Stannard and Nikki Tabberer. Mugford found an edge from Stannard’s bat taken by the keeper. Two runs later, Bullen found the edge of Stannard’s bat.

Mugford removed Justin Scott for nought, leaving Pagham 33-3. This brought Pagham’s overseas man Rico Webb to the crease and he launched the ball out of the ground twice. Stirlands removed Ryan Barratt and Gareth Davies for single figures, reducing Pagham to 81-5.

After scoring 83, Webb was caught off Coles, brilliantly taken by the diving Will Gubbins. Stirlands introduced Nat Clowes’ left-arm spin, posing questions to both Stuart Hanks and Alex Fuente.

Clowes removed Fuente for 17, caught and bowled. Mugford returned to the attack, removing Hanks and finding the edge of Peter Cotterill’s bat first ball and wrapping up the innings with another edge. Richard Bird guided the ball into the hands of Gubbins, giving Mugford his fifth wicket and Stirlands the task of chasing 230.

In reply Stirlands couldn’t come to terms with the pace of Webb (3-38), the accuracy of Justin Scott (3-49) and the guile of Tabberer (3-20) which saw Stirlands end 159 all out, 70 short.

Coles departed lbw to Scott. With the score on 61-2, Gubbins played a loose shot, and was caught by Richard Bird, diving low to his right.

Mugford fell to Webb and Jake Moores fell to Scott lbw for five (66-5). Bullen could not do anything about a Cotterill’s delivery pitching on leg stump and clipping his off-stump.

Clarke was joined by Dom Fecher and they earned their side their first batting point before Tabberer trapped Fecher lbw.

Clarke was supported by Adam Norris’ stern defence, but fell for 40 to Tabberer. Norris and David Briance pushed on but when Webb was brought back, Briance was trapped lbw.

Norris miscued a delivery into Webb’s hands, giving victory to Pagham by 70 runs.

Stirlands remain second in the league, but are 39 points behind Goring. For Pagham, this was a fourth win in a row and left them rueing their indifferent start to the season.