Pagham, Chichester and Stirlands are all in different divisions in this year’s Sussex League - but they all had winning starts to their campaigns.
St James v Pagham
Sussex League division two
Stuart Rutter had no hesitation in asking St James to bat on a damp, green wicket – and the Pagham bowlers were soon into their stride.
Pete Cotterill picked up the first three wickets with only ten on the board. Only Sam Cooper (43) came to terms with the conditions.
Nabib Rehaman replaced Cotterill and was soon among the wickets picking up four for 29.
Wayne Green ambled in towards the end to pick up the final two wickets for no runs meaning St James were all out for 84.
Although the wicket was still far from perfect, Pagham did not find the target too much of an ordeal.
They reached their target with only three wickets down, Jo Metz top-scoring with 31, well-supported by Staurt Rutter (18) and Eranga Dissange (18no).
Pagham won by seven wickets and bagged 30 points.
Chichester PP v Haywards Heath
After two successive relegations, Chichester were determined to start their league campaign strongly as they travelled to Haywards Heath – and they did exactly that.
They arrived in fine form following an emphatic ten-wicket win in the T20 Cup the previous week and continued their winning form as they sealed a convincing five-wicket victory.
With Matt Geffen unavailable, former captain Mark Bamford stood in and had no hesitation asking the home side to bat on winning the toss.
The decision appeared to be a sound one as Haywards Heath struggled against the new opening attack of James Chriss (3-63) and Australian Dan Weigl (2-80).
The home team struggled to reach 60 for five, but James Austin (65 not out) and Danny Hall (57) took the attack to Chichester and, despite two late wickets, that enabled the home side to declare at 209 for seven after 52 overs.
Bamford (1-15) and James Stedman (1-44) were the other wicket-takers for Chichester.
The decision to declare was one that surprised Bamford as the boundary was not particularly long on one side.
Haywards Heath started well, though, and soon had Chichester 20 for two, but from that point forward the game was really taken away from them as Bamford and Weigl (46) played with freedom and intent.
The pair put on 110 for the third wicket, which broke the back of the run chase. Jolyon Dannatt (13), Simon Hasted (14) and Matt Bennison (11no) all made valuable contributions, but it was Bamford who played the key innings as he carried his bat as he reached 111 not out off just 95 balls, which included 17 fours and three sixes to see the visitors to victory.
Chichester obtained 24 out of a possible 30 points and will endeavour to build on their fine start as they host Rottingdean on Saturday.
Stirlands v Wisborough Green
Stirlands got their division-four campaign off to a winning start at home to Wisborough Green.
Three wickets apiece from Ajinkya Deshpande and Jonathan Phillmore restricted the visitors to 105.
The hosts lost seven wickets in reaching the total, Deshpande and Tim Robinson each scoring 28.
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