Stirlands continued their rise up the Sussex division three west table with a convincing win at Pagham - while Bognor eased to victory over Arundel.
Pagham v Stirlands
Sussex division three west
Stirlands returned from Pagham with a victory in an encounter which was not as close as anticipated.
Pagham opted to bat first on a beautifully-prepared wicket but all their batsmen were tied down by tight, relentless bowling from Stirlands.
Stirlands opening bowlers Anthony Butler and Chris May bowled well, but were giving Pagham a release with a four ball each over. They got the breakthrough with 21 on the board, Butler snaring the Pagham overseas player Jamaul Fernandez.
As always, a lot depended on Struan Cameron, and his five wickets, including that of opposing captain Stuart Rutter for 50, tilted the balance in Stirlands’ favour.
May dismissed Chris Hayden for 17 and as Rutter continued to dig in, wickets began to tumble.
Cameron continued his wicket-taking spell from one end while Nick Hunt was introduced at the other and in the 49th over Stirlands bowled Pagham out for 128, with Cameron ending with five for 34 from 19 overs, Hunt two for 24 and May one for 28.
Pagham knew the early wicket of the clinical Sean Heather would give them hope, but a chanceless innings of 46 before he was dismissed by Sam Dickens set Stirlands well on their way to victory.
Heather and Stuart Hanks had put on 61 from 12 overs and Heather’s wicket only opened the door to Will Gubbins.
Gubbins struck two beautiful boundaries in his first over. Hanks departed for 22 and Leon Fourie and Gubbins put on 32 to take Stirlands to 117 before Fourie got a good Yorker from Nabib Rahman.
Gubbins, helped at the end by Hunt, raced along to 33 not out and took Stirlands over the finishing line with seven wickets to spare. Michael Hales and Nabid Rahman were the other wicket-takers.
The result gave Stirlands 30 points, Pagham just three. Stirlands go second behind Billingshurst.
Pagham seconds continued their rampaging start to the season by beating Stirlands seconds.
Stirlands scored 158 for nine, Nikki Tabberer taking four for 51 with Adam Norris (40) and Joe Viner (43) helping Stirlands to the total.
In reply, Pagham got home thanks to a quickfire innings from Jake Stockdale (57 from 44 balls) while Josh Burgess scored a critical 40 not out.
Bognor v Arundel
Sussex League division three west
After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Arundel made steady progress.
Joe Bain made a well-paced 50 in an opening partnership of 88. With small boundaries on offer, Bognor’s young attack kept pushing as the Arundel batsmen found themselves getting well-set then getting out.
With two wickets apiece for Charlie La Foret and Sam Taylor, as the pacemen rotated at one end, Joe Ashmore took a fine three for 64 as Arundel made 239 for eight off their allotted overs.
Bognor’s reply started badly with Mikey Harris out for a first-ball duck. However this was where the game swung back in Bognor’s favour in the most dramatic fashion.
With La Foret continuing his fine form with a well-crafted 60 off of 73 balls, Aussie all-rounder Taylor pounded a majestic 151 off off 98 balls including 17 fours and eight sixes with the Arundel attacked flayed to all corners.
Bognor duly wrapped up a fine seven-wicket win with 13 overs to spare, the win pushing them nicely up the table.
Bognor 2nd XI v Arundel 2nd XI
2nd XI div three west
Arundel elected to bowl and Bognor at one stage were 40 for three.
Wickets fell regularly as Kieran Hornsby (3-55) and veteran Neil Chitty kept the pressure on Bognor.
At 111 for eight, the omens were not looking good but a skipper’s innings of 49 by Andy McGregor in a 63-run ninth-wicket partnership with young Niall Heaton (26no) took Bognor up to 174 all out, Chitty returning with a fine five for 32.
Arundel’s reply began well but McGregor kept himself busy with two for 28 in another good spell for the veteran Aussie.
Bognor’s young attack did a fine job with Niall Heaton getting his first league wicket but with David Wells hitting an excellent 82 not out, Arundel won by six wickets.