Middleton knew they had a contest on their hands against Cuckfield at Sea Lane.
Cuckfield have one of the strongest batting line-ups in the league and when Cuckfield captain Josh Hayward won the toss it was no surprise he chose for his side to bat first.
The opening pairing of Jeet Raval – who has played seven Tests for New Zealand – and Joe Ludlow put on a opening partnership of 114.
Raval was first out, trapped lbw by Russell Talman for 56. Talman was making his first appearance of the season in the Middleton first team.
Ludlow continued until he became the fifth wicket to fall with his score on 91, bowled by Sean Heather with the Cuckfield score on 227.
Harry Clark took up the attack hitting an unbeaten 52 off just 46 balls, seeing his team to a final total of 291-6 off their 50 overs.
There was a short delay as the umpires consulted on whether the catch had been taken cleanly.
The pick of the Middleton bowlers was Talman, who ended with 3-33 from his ten overs.
Middleton’s reply got off to a good start with openers Angus Robson and Will Burrows sharing a stand of 66. Robson was looking in particularly good form.
Following the departure of Burrows, Gerhardt Abrahams and Robson took the score to 114. Cuckfield turned to spin in the 11th over and with the pitch starting to provide assistance, the game shifted towards them.
Middleton lost their next five wickets for just ten runs. The fall of Robson, third out when on 69, was the crucial wicket, returning a sharp return catch to Hayward.
There was a short delay as the umpires consulted on whether the catch had been taken cleanly. They upheld their decision bringing Robson’s innings which contained nine fours and two sixes, to an end.
A partnership of 56 between Matt Cooke (32) and Jamie Thompson (32) helped see the Middleton innings close on 220-9 in a game they didn’t realistically look like winning following their mid-innings collapse.
The best Cuckfield bowlers were Hayward (3-18 from ten overs) and Billy Collinson (3-31 from ten).
Bognor lost heavily but Pagham won comfortably in the latest round of games.
Bognor suffered a 130-run division-two hammering at home to Eastbourne.
The visitors batted first and Dan Wells’ 76 plus 71 from Mark Tomsett helped them amass 258 for nine.
Scott Bingham and Joe Ashmore each ended with figures of four for 44.
The reply never looked like earning the win and only Elliott Clarke (57) really got to grips with the Eastbourne bowlers.
Josh Seward (22) and Tom Woolnough were the only other batsmen to reach double figures as Bognor subsided to 128 all out.
Ben Twine (3-25) was their chief tormentor but the whole bowling unit performed well.
Bognor host Ifield this week.
In division three, Pagham enjoyed a fine six-wicket win at Burgess Hill. Ollie Pearce took four for 29 and Nikki Tabberer three for 24 as the hosts, having opted to bat first, slipped to 129 all out.
A knock off 55 from aiden Zammit led the reply and with Pearce completing a good day with 35 not out, the result never looked in much doubt. Pagham are at home to Eastbourne II this week.
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