Our latest round-up from cricket’s Sussex League division three west features Bognor, Pagham, Middleton and Arundel.
Billingshurst v Bognor
Bognor had to settle for a draw when they travelled to Billingshurst.
After winning the toss and electing to bat on a damp green surface, the new opening partnership of Michael Spaseski (4) and Max Ashmore (26) were unable to get off the strong start required as Bognor lost Spaeseski to Phil Erasmus.
Billingshurst’s early success left Ashmore and Robert Willway (40) needing to consolidate. Billingshurst’s opening bowlers were unable to consistently trouble the young pair, forcing a change to spin. Billingshurst looked in control as they claimed Bognor’s top order to reduce them to 90 for four.
Bognor’s middle order were able to throw the bat towards the end of the innings, with boundaries coming from Liam Geoghegan (25), James Fallick (25) and Rob Burge (12). But all departed at the hands of Tim Weston (4-52).
At 160 for eight Bognor looked short of a par total but Richard Cox’s 28 not out off 12 balls, including one four and three sixes, carried the visitors to 194 for eight.
As the sun began to shine, Bognor’s consistent opening pair of Graham Bush (3-43) and Jim Lee made the batsmen play and restricted the runs.
Scott Stratton (7) and Pete Burroughs (18) fell to to Bush’s tight line and length.
Billingshurst, at 46 for two, looked in trouble but opener Weston and Billy Harris survived a difficult spell from Bush and Lee.
Willway and Cox were introduced but were unable pick up the vital wicket as both batsmen passed 50 with the game edging towards Billingshurst going into the last ten overs.
With Billingshurt needing to push on in the hope of winning, Elliot Clarke brought himself into the attack and claimed the wickets of Weston (73) and Harris (67). With Bush and Spaseski bowling at the death, Billingshurst could not get over the line and they finished on 185 for six.
Pagham v Littlehampton
Pagham nearly got the elusive first win of the season.
Littlehampton were invited to bat and struggled to come to terms with the pace of Mark Ross (5-58) and the guile of Wayne Green (4-45).
Only C Heberlbin with 69 managed to keep the score moving. Littlehampton were all out for 163.
As is the norm with the Pagham batting, they struggled to put a meaningful partnership together, with only Chris Hayden, adjudged lbw for 32, and Graham Finlayson (26) showing any positive intent.
At 122 for nine the match seemed lost but a last-wicket stand of 35 between Sean Rutter (22) with a runner and Mark Ross (12no) saw Pagham get within seven of victory.
Pagham finish the first half of the season having lost all but one of their nine matches.
Clearly they will be hoping the second half must be better.
Middleton enjoyed a comprehensive win at home to Slinfold. Inserting the vistors, Middleton restricted Slinfold to 104. Ben Hansford made a quickfire 74 not out as the home side won by eight wickets.
Steyning v Arundel
Arundel elected to field first and Steyning declared on a respectable but gettable 206.
The visitors cruised over the line with almost two overs to spare. Stothert’s 124 not out was a fantastic example of rearguard attacking play.
Arundel’s seconds beat Steyning seconds in a nail-biter.
Arundel finished on 192 for nine off 53 overs and in the Steyning reply Paddy Horn (3-47), Richard Dabinett-Jays (2-34) and colts Matt Reynolds (2-16) and Ollie Morris (2-31) secured a ten-run win.