Cricket: Billingshurst beaten as Middleton’s charge continues

Brandon Handley is congratulated on a wicket against Billingshurst  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Brandon Handley is congratulated on a wicket against Billingshurst Picture by Kate Shemilt
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Middleton continued their demolition of division three west of the Sussex League by beating Billingshurst.

The team are destroying all who get in their way as their unbeaten run continues into a ninth week.

Middleton are the only team in their league still unbeaten after an emphatic seven-wicket win against Billingshurst.

The visitors posted 152 before being bowled out in the 41st over.

Overseas player Dhanny Mitipolaarachchi scored a well-constructed 47, supported by opener Brome (32) and Burroughs (36).

Brandon Hanley (2-48) again impressed with the ball as did debutant Rob Maier, the club coach, who took three for 18 off five overs.

The past two fixtures have seen a resurrection with the ball from overseas man Nikolai Smith. He seems to have found his niche with the leather and a return of two for 24 has cemented his place as a partnership breaker.

His consistency in the middle overs has also helped Tom Davies use the new ball with Hanley.

As Middleton’s opening batsmen took to the crease there was an air of expectancy. Despite chasing a low total there was also a nervous tension bubbling under the surface - understandable given the significance of such the result.

Ed Towner was asked to open the batting with Ben Hansford but after an impressive start to the season his form has dipped and he was trapped LBW for the fourth time in as many games.

If Towner is in a drought then Hansford can only be described as drowning in a flash flood as he continues to pile on the runs. A typically-flamboyant 32 took his total for the season to 379.

Jamie Thompson (52) has found form with the willow as he and Smith (45) saw Middleton to victory in sensational style after just 31 overs.