Heather gets Sussex t20 call as Stirlands sizzle

Stirlands captain Sean Heather's scintillating form has earned a call-up to Sussex seconds  Picture by Louise Adams C130685-3

Stirlands captain Sean Heather's scintillating form has earned a call-up to Sussex seconds Picture by Louise Adams C130685-3

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IT’S TURNING into quite a season for Stirlands, who are on a fabulous run of form in division three west of the Sussex League.

Skipper Sean Heather is the leading run scorer in the league, Struan Cameron is the leading wicket-taker and vice-captain Will Gubbins now has the highest average of anyone in the league – an incredible 200!

Heather’s runs have led to a call into the Sussex 2nd XI squad for today’s (June 20) games at his home ground in Birdham against Kent.

Stirlands are hosting back-to-back matches in the SE t20 competition. The first game starts at 11.30. Feel free to go along to the Church Road ground and watch.

The Sussex first XI’s t20 campaign begins on Friday next week when Surrey visit Hove.

Meanwhile, Stirlands - having beaten Pagham in a top-of-the-table Sussex division three west clash the previous week - entertained bottom side Arundel looking for 30 more points to maintain their charge towards glory.

Arundel won the toss and elected to bat, looking to make the most of a good-looking wicket and set a competitive total.

It was not long before Stirlands made the breakthrough, with Anthony Butler trapping Matthew Reynolds for three to leave Arundel were four for one.

Runs were hard to come by, with Chris May bowling with great accuracy, picking up Arundel skipper Ally James, who nicked through to keeper Stuart Hanks for no score, and Matthew Wood lbw, leaving Arundel 17 for three.

Anthony Ender ended opener Keelan Shoulders’ tortuous stay at the crease with a fast short ball that Shoulders could only fend to Leon Fourie at short leg.

The innings struggled to gain momentum as wickets fell at regular intervals. Lloyd Rowlatt provided the only resistance with 38, before the danger man was bowled by senior pro Nick Hunt.

Butler mopped up the young, inexperienced Arundel tail to finish with five for 32, while May finished with tidy figures of two nine off seven overs, with a wicket each for Ender, Hunt and Struan Cameron as Arundel were bowled out for 106 in 43 overs.

The strong wind blowing from the School End was relentless all afternoon as the patrons did their best to hold on to their hats and brave the elements and enjoy another Stirlands run chase.

In typical fashion, Stirlands opening partnership of Sean Heather and Stuart Banks got the Birdham club off to a good start. Hanks’ favoured cover region again proved fruitful for the cavalier left-hander before he departed for 17 with the score on 38.

Captain Heather and vice-captain Will Gubbins saw Stirlands home by nine wickets. Heather laid ruin to the Arundel attack, finishing with 71 off 60 balls, including nine fours and four sixes, finishing the match with a maximum, while Gubbins finished 19 not out.

This brought 30 more points for Stirlands, who travel to Henfield next week, before a crucial game at home to table-topping Billingshurst a week later.