Cricket: Hansford’s heroics are in vain for Middleton

Ben Hansford struck a flawless century as Middleton continued their unbeaten run with a bore draw at home against Pagham in Sussex division three west.

Middleton batted first and a special innings from Hansford, keen to regain form after a lean start to the season, saw him amass 133 and ensure the home side were able to post a competitive total.

Ed Towner (30) and Jamie Thompson (26) supported Hansford well as Middleton declared on 249 for six after 52 overs.

Wayne Green bowled consistently for the visitors, picking up four for 64. Mike Hales and Will Rolls picked up a wicket each.

Middleton felt Pagham showed very little ambition to chase down a gettable target. Even the majority of the visiting team chose to watch the England football game on television rather than witness the sluggish affair out in the middle.

All Middleton could do was hope for mistakes from the batting side plus a bit of luck, neither of which were abundant as umpiring decisions went the way of the visitors.

As the Middleton captain tried various bowlers in an attempt to break the deadlock, very few chances came the home side’s way. Alfie Bunker picked up two late wickets giving the selectors a headache for next week against Steyning.

A stunning catch at backward point from Adam Rawstrone gave the home side a glimmer of hope as they looked to push for the win in the last few overs.

Opener Dickins played a patient innings of 42 but the star of the Pagham innings was Graham Finlayson (51), who proved too much of a handful for the Middleton attack.

Hanley, who had three early wickets to his name, chose to bowl spin in the closing overs, although this wasn’t enough to force a result as Pagham finished on 200 for seven.