Middleton have daylight at cricket’s halfway point

Middleton in the field in an earlier game against Findon
Middleton in the field in an earlier game against Findon

Middleton reached the halfway stage of the season 79 points clear at the top of Sussex League division two after a comprehensive victory over relegation candidates Goring.

They lost the toss for only the second time this season and were invited by Goring to bat first on a wicket they obviously felt had something in it for their bowlers early on.

Middleton took the opportunity to rotate their top order and went with a new opening pair of Sean Heather and Rob Willway, who started positively and put on a season’s best opening stand of 116. Heather eventually fell for 76, caught off the bowling of Olly Scarfield.

Willway (47) and Ben Hansford (12) followed and at 145 for three, Will Burrows and Barbadian Jofra Archer came together at the crease.

The pair took the score to 21, before Archer fell for 67, an innings which included three sixes in one over off the bowling of Aaron Wyatt.

There was further powerful hitting from Burrows (50*) and Ender (24*) towards the end of the innings allowing Middleton to declare on their highest score of the season so far – 282 for four off 48 overs.

In reply, Middleton dismissed Andrew Baumann in the first over for no score off Jamie Thompson. Sam Thorns (37) and overseas man Shane de Beer (47) pushed the scoreboard along at more than six runs an over.

The introduction of Anthony Ender into the attack worked for Middleton – he removed both Thorns and de Beer as well as middle-order batsman Keiran Leeming for 26. His spell of three for 34 off just eight overs was the turning point along with the introduction of spinner Rob Willway, who also took three wickets after being brought into the attack.

With rain starting to fall Middleton were glad to see the final Goring wicket fall with the score on 196 when tail-ender Wyatt was run out

following a smart piece of fielding by Tommy Davies.

Middleton travel to Worthing on Saturday.