Chichester Priory Park and Stirlands both secured dramatic wins in their latest Sussex Cricket League outings.
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Chichester Priory Park v Findon
Sussex League division three
Chichester climbed into the top half of the table with a maximum-points win at home to Findon.
Visiting captain Bradley Bridson won the toss and elected to bat. This decision soon looked questionable as Chichester’s opening bowlers tore into Findon’s top order.
Tormentor-in-chief was Matt Geffen, who continued his run of good form by taking four of the first six wickets to fall. He was backed up by Dan Joseph, who took two wickets as the visitors were reduced to 68 for six.
Chichester were in the ascendancy but Felix Jordan offered some resistance to the rampaging bowlers.
In partnership with Curtis Howell (28), Carrig Connelly (22) and Harrison Grayston (18 not out), Jordan played fluently on his way to way to a season’s best of 93.
Jordan was last man out as Findon posted a respectable 229. Geffen finished with six for 50.
With the last four wickets adding 161, the momentum was with the visitors.
Chichester’s run chase couldn’t have had a worse start as three quick wickets fell, leaving them struggling at 10 for three.
The rebuilding began as Ezaz Safi (24) and Ben Caldera added 47 for the fourth wicket. When Safi was bowled by Mark Solway, Caldera found another ally, Australian Sam Harvey. The pair put on 84 and the hosts began to sense victory.
But when Harvey was dismissed, it was back in the balance. Caldera was batting well but wickets were continuing to fall at the other end.
Caldera was dismissed just short of a magnificent century (95 off 88 balls) leaving the hosts on 181 for eight, still 49 short of victory.
Having tormented Findon with the ball, Joseph and Geffen returned to haunt them with the bat. They dragged Chichester towards their victory target and were just six from victory when Geffen was dismissed in the penultimate over.
Joseph (31no) calmed any nerves by striking the first ball of the final over for four. A quick single tied the scores and Hassan Chaabane clipped the winning run off the final ball, giving Chichester a one-wicket victory.
Chichester will aim for another victory when they travel to Steyning on Saturday.
Stirlands v Hellingly
Sussex League division four
On a glorious afternoon in Birdham, Stirlands engineered their first victory of the 2016 season in dramatic fashion.
Hellingly captain James McDonald called correctly and invited Stirlands to bat.
The opening partnership of Leo Wilkinson-Beal and Jamie Wynne-Griffith started positively, but Wilkinson-Beal was first to fall, edging to the Hellingly keeper, for a brisk 17.
In-form Will Gubbins continued his wonderful run of form, scoring freely all around the ground, forming good partnerships with Wynne-Griffith, captain George Coles and returning overseas player Ajinkya Deshpande.
With the score on 167 for six, Gubbins offered a return catch to the bowler, which was snapped up.
Gubbins’ departure started something of a collapse as the home side were bowled out for 191 in the final over of their innings.
After tea, Hellingly began their reply. After a couple of early wickets, Hellingly looked to rebuild their innings, waiting for any bad deliveries to punish.
With the score on 101 for two, captain Coles turned to the part-time off spin of Gubbins, who turned the game on its head removing the well-set Will Hutchings.
Stirlands could sense an opening. Deshpande, jet-lagged from his late-night arrival from India, was quickly given the ball and proved why he was picked up by RCB’s development squad in the IPL; ripping through the Hellingly batting order.
As the game entered the final over, Hellingly were 162 for nine and Deshpande raced in, searching for his fifth wicket of the game.
From the penultimate delivery, he found an edge that was snapped up by Wynne-Griffith to send the home crowd & players into jubilant celebration.
Stirlands’ now set their sights on Saturday’s tussle with league new boys West Chiltington & Thakeham.
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