A superb result against Horsham and the inevitable abandonment of the county development team’s visit to Priory Park in poor weather resulted in Chichester gaining 40 out of a possible 60 Sussex Premier League
points over the weekend.
Horsham captain Craig Gallacher elected to field and Chichester soon found themselves 43 for three through to the bowling of Hisam Ul-Haq (3-57) and Matt Barry (2-31).
Chichester lost wickets at regular intervals and limped to 140 all out from just 35 overs, with only Adam Zampa (45) making any notable score. Sam Cushing (3-36) was the pick of the attack.
The wicket had seamed around, but 140 seemed way below par to Chichester captain Mark Bamford.
Horsham slumped to 29 for four thanks to the bowling of Matt Geffen (3-23) and Daniel Joseph (1-31).
Rather than going in to their shell, Horsham decided attack was the best form of defence as Craig Gallacher played some expansive shots on his way to 45.
Bamford’s response was swift as he took the pace off the ball by bowling leg spinner Zampa and seamer James Stedman.
The change worked as the run rate slowed and this prompted perhaps the key moment of the game. With the score at 90 for four, Horsham’s reply seemed to be advancing towards the victory target until Gallacher had a huge swing at a delivery from Stedman with his score on 45.
The ball shot towards point where Bamford leapt and took a one-handed diving catch in a superb display of athleticism.
That signalled a collapse from the Horsham lower order as Zampa struck with two wickets, but it was James Stedman who did the damage. Stedman bowled a remarkable spell of four for five in just four overs – and three of the runs conceded were wides – to secure the unlikely victory for the home side. He claimed the final wicket with the Horsham innings at the score of 106.
To win by 34 runs was a real surprise and Chichester were eager to carry their form into the game versus the Sussex Academy. Given the forecast, the only chance of winning was to bowl out the batting side out cheaply and knock the runs off before the rain came.
Sussex elected to field first and Chichester struggled against the pace of their attack. However, Bamford played a captain’s innings.
When the rain came, Bamford was 40 not out with Dave Leaver 15 not out at the other end and the score at 107 for five. Abidine Sakande was the pick of the Sussex bowlers with two for 14.
Chichester are fourth but travel to leaders Hastings this week.