Middleton don’t do cricket the easy way

Middleton secured a vital win at home to Henfield in cricket’s Sussex League division three west, although they made hard work of it.

After a good bowling and fielding performance in which Jamie Thompson claimed his best senior haul of seven wickets, it should have been more comfortable, but the line was crossed and with Findon losing it is getting tight at the top.

Credit goes to the groundstaff, who worked tirelessly to make sure the match could go ahead.

Middleton won the toss and bowled and although the track was drying the favour was always going to be with the bowlers.

With Davies keeping it tight from one end Thompson soon made inroads with Moore caught behind then Pederson cleaning up shortly afterwards. Hopgood played nice shots but also fell victim to the opening bowler when he was held by Hansford.

Crampton followed leg before and the visitors were 50 for four.

Slaughter was batting nicely, but when Rawstrone had Scott caught off a loose shot, Slaughter’s main concern was finding a partner that could stick with him. Overseas Damon Earp hung around and the pair took the score to 91 when Slaughter edged one to Gallagher.

Earp and Brugnoli added vital runs but neither could stop Thompson running through the tail and Henfield were all out for 148 – below par but not a certain losing score.

Ben Hansford opened the innings with a flurry, playing excellent strokes and riding his luck, but his quickfire 31 did add early impetus. He was brilliantly caught by Brett Moore, but might have felt it a little unnecesary to continue hitting over the top.

Two quick wickets fell around the 50 mark with Slaughter and Brugnoli removing Towner and Nelmes and the home side were finding it difficult to score runs.

Brugnoli was bowling well, giving little to the batsmen.

Gallagher held firm in the middle order when Colvin, Rebbetts and Hanley came and went and at 99 for six there was work to do. Rawstrone joined the Australian to take the score to 130 before Brugnoli struck again. But Rawstrone and Warren added the final 19 without too many dramas, the former ending on an unbeaten 22 for a victory which keeps Middleton in contention.