Cricket: Chichester’s season needs a kick-start

Chichester Priory Park's 2014 line-up  Picture by Louise Adams
Chichester Priory Park's 2014 line-up Picture by Louise Adams
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Chichester Priory Park are still searching for their first win of the season after a disappointing batting display handed them an embarrassing 162-run loss at home to Billingshurst in division two of the Sussex League.

They were looking to bounce back from their seven-wicket loss at Findon a week earlier but it was Billingshurst who started the brighter.

The opening pair of Stuart Barber and Scott Stratton hit 40 off the first eight overs, but Priory got the breakthrough when Daniel Faulkner trapped Barber in front for 14.

Matt Geffen did the same to new batsman Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi in the very next over and Priory looked in control.

Stratton and Mike Burroughs batted through some tight bowling and survived a few scares but then began to move through the gears.

Stratton picked up the short ball well and regularly beat the fielders on the on-side, where Burrroughs just did the basics well, hitting the bad balls to the boundary.

Stratton fell for an impressive 64 when he was caught by Matthew Reynolds off Geffen.

Billingshurst formed another solid partnership as Rob Woodman joined Burroughs at the crease and the pair started to up the run rate, with the latter passing 50.

Woodman was caught by Geffen off Reynolds for 31 before Burroughs fell for 86, a sensible innings which provided a solid platform.

Andy Barr provided some crucial late runs and helped Billingshurst finish on 232 for eight from 50 overs.

Priory got off to an awful start, losing two wickets in the first three overs, and never recovered.

Wicket after wicket seemed to fall with Barr picking up the first three and only Jay Hartad provided any resistance with 24.

The spinners tore through the Priory order, with Mitipolaarachchi picking up four wickets for the expense of just five runs and Ben Williams claiming two wickets for five runs.

Only two of the Priory batsman – Hartard and George Stephens – managed to make it to double figures, with three of the batsman being caught behind.

Priory will now look to bounce back this weekend away to Ifield.

ALASTAIR PUSINELLI