A crowd of around 500 was treated to an exciting game of cricket with a nail-biting finish as Selsey hosted the Thespian Thunderers for the Sir Patrick Moore Cup.
The sun shone like an oasis in the middle of a spell of inclement weather and a day of family fun featured a bouncy castle, funfair rides, face painting and much more.
The toss, won by Peter Sandys-Clarke for the Thespians, a side made up of people from the world of performing arts, and Selsey were put into bat.
The opening pair were quickly separated when Amis was clean bowled by Morgan without any score recorded on the recently-installed electronic scoreboard.
Opener Townshend steadied the boat with a total of 34. He was joined by the dependable Andy Horner who top-scored with 40, including eight boundaries. His innings ended when he was caught off Muir.
Wickets tumbled at regular intervals until we were treated to a spell of fine batting towards the end of the innings by Cripps, 27 not out, and the mighty Bhuta, 20, who was run out by a direct hit. They managed to lift the total to a defendable 184 for seven after 40 overs.
Bhuta had three runs scored off his first two balls then, after a dot ball, clean bowled the last two batsmen.
Bowling figures for the Thespians included Jardine (2-29), Heanly (2-33), C Walters (1-32) and Muir (1-34).
During the tea break, a dedication was made to Major Tom Watson by the President of Selsey CC, John Reeve. This was followed by displays from the ARO kick boxing club and the Selsey dance club, who were also giving opportunities to anyone wishing to have a go.
The Thespian Thunderers’ reply made steady progress until Sandys-Clarke was brilliantly run out for 24 with a direct hit from Bhuta at deep mid-wicket with the total on 45.
Styles, the other opener, went on to score an excellent 48 before being caught behind by keeper Tig Hoare with a spectacular diving catch to his left, off the bowling of Cripps.
Scores of 35 by C Walters, 21 by Muir and 20 by Heanly, helped to move the score closer to Selsey’s total. With three overs left, just seven runs required, and with two wickets in hand, the Thespians appeared to be cruising.
However, the 38th proved the decisive over. Bhuta had three runs scored off his first two balls then, after a dot ball, clean bowled the last two batsmen. Selsey won by just three runs. Bhuta finished with two for nine, T Amis two for 14, and Cripps two for 24.
The Sir Patrick Moore Cup was presented to Tig Hoare, the Selsey skipper, by organiser Bob Hoare, concluding a day of fun and drama enjoyed by so many.
Invitation League reports
Aldwick v RMU
Set a massive 350 to win by RMU, all Aldwick could do was to bat sensibly and avoid defeat by batting for a draw. Aldwick completed their mission and denied the visitors a victory by finishing on 151-8 after their 45 overs.
Table-toppers RMU raced out of the traps pilling on a huge 179 runs for the second wicket. Despite losing his partner George Machan for just a single, when skipper Michael Gould (173) was joined by Norullah Khan (74) they proceeded to blast the ball to all corners in a partnership that contained 30 fours and six sixes.
Gould was finally undone by Tom Hoare (3-68) and Khan succumbed to John Young (1-81). Further runs were made by Arj Shah (54) and Ahmed Nasseri (21) but with 300-plus on the board the visitors should have declared and given their bowlers more overs.
Aldwick openers Alex Cooper (22) and Dean Stokes (39) started in a defiant mood until Cooper fell to Arj Shah (2-22). Stokes held firm at one end but he was a bystander as Ahmed Nasseri (5-45) cut through the middle order with ease as the home side tumbled to 85-7 and an inevitable defeat.
Olli Smith (20*) joined Stokes and their belligerent resistance took their side on to 149-8 and saved the game despite Stokes losing his wicket a few balls from the end.
This week Aldwick visit Belgrave Adelaide.
Warnham 2nds v Aldwick 2nds
Like their first-team counterparts, Aldwick twos came up against a team with in-form batsmen and Warnham posted 250-5 from their 40 overs.
Aldwick battled to overcome the high total but faltered badly with only Aiden Miles (13) and skipper Ian Guppy (59) making double figures in a calamitous display that had them rolled out for just 122 in the 24th over.
Harry Dear (3-26), Mathew Woodhatch (2-16) and Steve Fuller (2-16) were main architects of Aldwick’s downfall taking wickets at too regular intervals.
Earlier, consistent batting from all the Warnham batsmen ensured they had enough runs on board but Michael Parker (41), Mathew Woodhatch (60), and Gary May (46*) were the stars. Best with the ball for Aldwick was Ian Guppy with 2-57.
This week Aldwick must pick themselves up at home to Lancing Manor.
Bognor 3rds v Clymping 2nds
Division ten west
Bognor’s third team began their campaign against an experienced Clymping team. Winning the toss and bowling, Bognor kept matters tight as the miserly veteran Dan Winslow conceded only eight runs from nine overs.
Young seamer Callum Teasdale bagged a senior best of 4- 54 and the zesty Babs Ahmed with 2-25 restricted Clymping to 134-9.
With the bit between his teeth, Ahmed proceeded to lose balls in the Clymping greenery as she clattered a brisk 64 to give Bognor an electric start. Clymping stuck to their task but the old maestro Steve Jays with 45 not out helped see Bognor home by six wickets.
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