There were good results for Chichester Priory Park and Pagham on a weekend when much of the 1st Central Cricket League was hit by the rain. Read the reports from our local sides, below.
Chichester PP v Ifield
With the season about to enter its final month, Chichester Priory Park gained more points towards maintaining their place in division two for another year.
Their opponents were bottom side Ifield and after heavy rain delayed the start by nearly an hour and a half, Chichester won the toss and elected to bat.
Chichester made steady progress with most of their batsmen contributing.
Opener Matt Bennison (48) anchored the innings, putting together solid partnerships with Ahbishek Raut (23) and Ben Gregory (22). Wickets fell regularly though and at 146-7, Chichester risked throwing away their early promise.
Rob Carver (33) and Will Futcher (18 not out) added 52 for the eighth wicket as Chichester closed on 198-8.
In reply Ifield never kept up with the required run rate thanks to some tight early bowling from Joe De La Fuente (2-19). The heart of Ifield’s reply was torn out by the slow spin bowling of James Mayne.
The Dorking Muralitharan bamboozled Ifield’s middle order, taking 5-36 for his maiden first XI five-wicket haul. Captain Matt Geffen (3-38) took the last wicket in the penultimate over as captain won by 88 runs.
The win takes Chichester past 200 points and they have a 47-point buffer to the relegation zone. This week they visit Goring.
Steyning v Pagham
Div 3 West
In a game reduced to 40 overs each afterto a delayed start, Steyning found life difficult on a damp wicket – but thanks to Harvey King with 38 and Thomas Chalmers (25no) they managed to get to 174-8.
Nikki Tabberer (3-39) and Nick Smith (2-15) were the stand-out bowlers. Perhaps the highlight of the innings was the stunning boundary catch by Smith to dismiss Johnny Burfield.
In reply Pagham’s stuttering start saw them lose both openers for 17 but a well-timed knock of 74 not out from man of the moment Smith meant the visitors knocked off the required runs with three overs to spare.
The 28 points for Pagham means there are only a few points between each of the top three.
West Wittering v Billingshurst II
Div 5 West
West Wittering stormed to victory by eightwickets against Billingshurst seconds in overcast conditions on the coast.
Long-serving captain Carl Tupper won his first toss in ages and wasted no time in putting the visitors in. With heavy cloud cover, a good breeze and plenty of humidity, Wittering had perfect conditions for their seam-bowling attack.
So it proved, as openers Joe Pink (2-21) and Spike Western ripped through Billingshurst’s top order with the swinging ball, taking six wickets for just 28 runs, with young Sam Caddy taking a sharp catch in the slips off Pink at the fourth attempt.
Western (5-11) completed his sixth five-wicket-haul for West Wittering in his final over, before Joe Sissons (1-18) and James Munro (2-2) finished the job in the 22nd over, bowling Billingshurst out for 56.
Captain Tupper sent in his opening batsman with instructions to ignore the low score and bat their normal game. Munro took this to heart, hitting his first two balls for six over the bowler’s head - and the sightscreen too - with perfect straight drives, following up with two less orthodox boundaries through cow corner, leaving West Wittering 24-0 off the first two overs.
A long-hop was pulled by Munro for six into the neighbouring field and Liam Bates showed his class with another driven boundary over the bowler’s head before Munro was caught on the boundary for 37 from 15 balls.
Bates was stumped trying to finish the game in style, so Tupper (6*) and Gareth Lendrum (2*) were left to see West Wittering home, the captain fittingly striking the winning runs through the covers for another boundary to cap a near-perfect performance.
Aldwick v Broadbridge Heath
Div 6 West
The Aldwick groundstaff worked wonders to get the game started, albeit for a reduced 28-overs per side clash. Nevertheless, Aldwick did not slip up and easily beat Broadbridge Heath by 72 runs to go clear at the top by 37 points.
Batting first, Aldwick were without this season’s run machine Ed White, but skipper Alex Cooper was on hand to contribute a hefty score making 81 before he was caught by Josh Booker off 6th change bowler Tyler Neville (1-23).
Aldwick’s final score of 162-5 was further bolstered with good knocks from Joel Lodge with an unbeaten 33 and Dean Stokes’ 17.Heath’s bowler of the day was Mathew Varghese (2-14) with the remaining wickets taken by Josh Booker (1-42) and Iain Stocker (1-35).
Chasing 163 for victory, Heath opener Doni James led from the front top-scoring with 28 until he was finally caught by Joel Lodge off the bowling of Ollie Smith (1-18). However, at the other end, the Aldwick opening bowlers Ian Horner (4-29) and Ben Kemp (4-18) decimated the other batsmen, taking eight wickets between them and not allowing any other batsman to make double figures other than No8 Tyler Neville (26) in a genuine bowling rout.
Joel Lodge ran out James Round and Heath were turned over for just 90 all out in the 21st over.
This week Aldwick host Findon II.
Aldwick seconds’ game against Worthing IV was washed out but they remain in third place and this week travel to Goring twos.
* The Bognor branch of Covers Timber and Builders Merchants will be continuing its sponsorship of Bognor Cricket Club.
The club run three Saturday sides who play in the Sussex Cricket League, a Sunday team, a T20 team and a Midweek XI as well as junior teams for under-tens to under-19s.
In 2018 the ladies team enjoyed a successful first full season of matches by winning their regional T20 league and being runners-up in their 35-over league.
Andrew Lee, vice-chairman at Bognor CC, said: “We would not be able to function without the valuable contribution of local businesses, so a big thank you to Covers for its generous sponsorship.”
Paul Allwright, Bognor depot manager at Covers, added: “As a community focused business, we’re delighted to be sponsoring Bognor Regis Cricket Club for another season. We wish all their teams the very best of luck and look forward to hearing about their results.”