Aldwick blow their chance - but West Wittering don’t

Aldwick couldn't take advantage of Eastergate's blank weekend
Aldwick couldn't take advantage of Eastergate's blank weekend

Aldwick can’t reclaim top spot in Invitation League division three – but West Wittering are the team to catch in the next division down.

Aldwick v Himani

Invitation League div three

With table-toppers Eastergate not playing, this was second-placed Aldwick’s chance to reduce the points difference – but they failed miserably, losing by 134 runs.

The home side must have had an inkling it was going to be a bad day at the office as they watched the visitors’ openers Sandeep Patel (35) and the unbeaten Bharat Panchal (91*) pile on 73 for the first wicket until Patel was undone by first-change Ollie Smith (3-66).

Keelan Belcher (3-21) and Liam Hicks (2-51) bowled good spells and wickets fell at regular intervals but the dogged determination of Panchal aided by Parvez Vahora (27) and Bhavin Shashikant Patel (32) put Himani in the driving seat with 222 for eight.

Aldwick’s off-day continued with their worst batting performance of the season as they were skittled out for a meagre 88 in under 27 overs. Only Dean Stokes (20) and Keelan Belcher (34) reached double figures in a display not worthy of team who have been league leaders for most of the season.

Each of Himani’s four bowlers bagged wickets with Vicky Joseph Smith (4-30) the pick of the crop as they steamrolled through the home side’s batting line-up.

This week Aldwick visit Southwick and must regain their early season form to prevent their campaign coming off the rails.

West Wittering v Arundel II

Div four

West Wittering are still the pacesetters in division four after a nine-wicket victory over Arundel seconds.

Arundel elected to bat but it wasn’t long before Tim Osborne (1-16) made the breakthough, having captain Charlie Horne clean-bowled.

Wittering fielded well and held their catches, which made the difference. All the bowlers contributed with Olly Lingham-Davis (2-23), Harry Staight (3-23), Joe Pink (3-21) and Richard Hammond (1-4) having success as Arundel were all out for 108.

Wittering had 53 overs to chase the modest total, but Mark Taylor (36*) and Gareth Lendrum (37) did not hang around. Lendrum was caught trying to go big and Carl Tupper (13*) joined Taylor.

Both ticked the score over and saw Wittering over the line for 30 points. This week, Wittering travel to Partridge Green.

Warnham v Aldwick II

Div seven

Aldwick II won easily by seven wickets, which leaves them just eight points behind leaders Broadbridge Heath II, who they face this weekend at the Felpham Oval.

Warnham made a respectable 193 for eight from their 40 overs with middle-order batsman Mark Dear keeping it together with a top score of 62 after the openers Michael Parker (32) and James Dear (21) had made a worthwhile start and Aldwick had gifted the home side 30 extras. Consistent bowling from the visitors’ bowlers rewarded Will Lewry (3-51), Harry Rosser ( 2-34) and Declan Belcher ( 2-23) with well-earned wickets.

Chasing 194 for victory, Aldwick lost Dan Cooper (4) with just eight on the board but opening partner Tom Hoare (63) and Matt Robinson (48) shared in 96-run second-wicket partnership which set the platform for the victory.

The unbeaten pair of Dion Sampson (45*) and Matt Spindler (24*) safely saw their side home in the 30th over in a confident manner which bodes well for the first-versus-second clash this weekend.

West Wittering II v Selsey II

Div nine

The second XI extended their lead at the top with a nine-wicket victory over neighbours Selsey. Selsey posted 214 for six off their 40 overs, an admirable total which would be difficult to chase.

Ben Doyle (36) and Liam Bates (37*) batted fantastically well, contributing towards the total, but it was 16-year-old Johnny Miller who stole the show, hitting his maiden century for the club and finishing on 119 not out.

This week the second XI host Billingshurst III at home.

Chichester Priory Park IV v Littlehampton III

Div nine

Littlehampton scored 248 for three off 40 overs, setting a huge challenge for Priory Park. All the Littlehampton batsmen delivered solid performances.

Murray, Birbeck and Mohsin each ended just short of 50 in a high-scoring game played with great enthusiasm.

A superb 98 not out for Chichester captain elect Steve Parker, 22 from son Will, newcomer Neil Pendle’s 35 and Viran Chudasama’s 19 gave Priory a chance but the experience of Littlehampton came through and Chichester were all out 28 runs short of the target.