Middleton leave it late at Littlehampton

Middleton continued their promising start in division three west of the Sussex League with another final-over win, this time at Littlehampton.

The visitors won the toss and put Littlehampton into bat on a track that resembled the M25. Amit Midha impressed for the home side, hitting a patient 54 to prevent an early finish to the innings.

Early wickets fell but Middleton failed to capitalise and some late hitting from lower-order batsmen Farrell (32) and Moshin (28) saw Littlehampton power their way to 188 for nine.

With seven batsmen failing to reach double figures, the home side would have been happy to post a competitive score off their full allocation of overs.

Rookie spinner Will Searle continued his emphatic start to first team life with five for 45 off 15 overs. In just three first XI games the off-spinner has picked up nine wickets, replacing Brandon Hanley as the club’s primary spin bowler. He was backed by two wickets from Adam Rawstrone, who’s looking to cement his place as a bowling all-rounder.

Middleton’s lack of potency with the ball has left the title hopefuls struggling to bowl teams out. They also conceded 21 extras, including ten wides.

Without the first-class experience of Jamie Thompson it seems the captain will have to rely on his team of all-rounders to see matches through.

There was an air of expectancy as dynamic openers Lerwill and Hansford headed out looking to impose themselves. Hansford went early to Herberlein and was closely followed by Towner and Smith, who were run out and trapped lbw.

Middleton captain Hanley starred with the bat, leading his side to victory with an unbeaten 67. Rawstrone (18) and Spedding (18) had timely knocks as Littlehampton never let the visitors off the hook.

Littlehampton’s Bruce Brogan, after being called up an hour before the toss, managed two direct-hit run outs and a diving catch.

Will Searle topped off a great day by hitting the winning runs with just two balls to spare, showing he’s got the talent for this level.