Eastergate dig in... Aldwick all at sea... Win for Wittering
There were mixed fortunes as Eastergate, Aldwick and West Wittering continued their West Sussex Invitation League campaigns.
Here are the latest reports...
Eastergate v Wisborough Green
Invitation League division one
After their first planned match in division one was conceded by Pulborough, newly-promoted Eastergate travelled to Wisborough Green’s delightful ground on a sunny day knowing this was a significant increase in playing standards.
With last year’s promoted team remaining intact and the addition of Justin Poyser from Australia, Eastergate were confident of a good start.
Captain Jack Stannard asked the opposition to bat. Byron Napper (80) and Matthew Scott (62) put on 101 for Wisborough Green’s third wicket, but tight bowling and good catches restricted the home side to 235 for five.
The wickets were shared between Pete Smith, Nick Smith, Jamie Murphy and Chris Brittain.
Eastergate knew a good start and decent scoring rate would be needed in reply. Losing Poyser early, Jack Stannard and Nick Smith put on 70 for the second wicket.
However the loss of some quick wickets meant Eastergate had to dig in for a draw and reached 184 for nine, with Stannard carrying his bat and remaining unbeaten on 73, a true captain’s innings.
Eastergate are fourth in the table. They now have a free Saturday, then welcome Littlehampton on May 21.
Brighton & Hove 3rd v Aldwick
Invitation League division two
Aldwick were easily beaten in their second league game of the 2016 campaign by six wickets and unless they pick themselves up and make substantial improvements they will find themselves fighting to stay in division two.
Alex Rutter (1) was the first of Charlie Hetherton’s five victims (5-72) as the home side’s opening bowler ripped through the Aldwick batsmen with alarming ease.
Rutter’s opening partner Alex Cooper did offer resistance by top-scoring with 23 but wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and when Cooper fell to Hetherton, his side were reeling at 49 for seven.
John Young (11) pushed the total to 65 all out in the 22nd over but he was the only other Aldwick batsman to make double figures in a miserable batting display.
Aldwick did make inroads before Brighton & Hove achieved victory after 14 overs by six wickets. Skipper Ollie Smith (4-30) tried to inspire his troops with an impressive spell but the home side were never going to fall short.
Alec Scott made 23 and Saarthak Saini was unbeaten on 16 as their side banked 30 league points in an easy win.
This week Aldwick must come out fighting at home to East Preston.
West Wittering v Scaynes Hill
You can’t ask for a much better start to the season than the win West Wittering enjoyed.
After losing the toss and being asked to field against a strong batting side it was a slow start from the hosts, with barely a sniff of a wicket until the scoreboard read 82 for nought.
Enter James Staight in the 21st over. Turning in from just outside leg the first wicket was in the book, clean bowled. This was the first of seven wickets for Staight, who finished with outstanding figures of seven for 33, with his twin brother, Harry, playing a strong supporting role and picking up the remaining three wickets for 39.
Seeing the name Staight fill the entire wickets column was quite surreal. The twins took the last seven wickets for only 35 runs, with skipper Carl Tupper showing his team how it’s done with three superb catches as Hill were out for 165.
Mark Taylor and Liam Bates opened the batting and made a steady start to the run chase.
Taylor played a solid innings for his 60 not out, keeping the scoreboard ticking over while No3 Gareth Lendrum raced to 93 not out. Both batsmen played shots all round the pitch, making setting a field near impossible for Scaynes Hill, chasing down the total in just 29 overs.
Aldwick 2nd v Partridge Green
Table-toppers Partridge Green will not have an easier victory this season if they do finish in top place.
Aldwick’s batsmen were all at sea in a performance that included five ducks as were 36 all out.
Partridge Green’s opening bowling pair Greg Adlam (4-8) ad Joe Tourle (4-9) wasted no time in decimating the home side’s fragile line-up with regular wicket taking that had Aldwick eight wickets down with only 11 on the board.
Among the chaos, Luke Spindler (14) remained calm and was the only batsman to make double figures.
There were no bowling successes for Aldwick as Green’s opening pair, Harry Wheatley (19*) and Daniel Smith (13*) easily knocked off the small total with ease in ten overs to give their side a ten-wicket victory.
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