Askew’s drop proves costly for Littlehampton

Louis Paul struck 74 and took two wickets on his Littlehampton debut on Saturday

Louis Paul struck 74 and took two wickets on his Littlehampton debut on Saturday

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Littlehampton Cricket Club skipper James Askew’s costly drop meant his side were forced to settle for a winning draw in their opening West Sussex Invitation League Division 1 fixture with Ram on Saturday.

The visitors ended their innings on 183 for eight in pursuit of their target of 215.

Kartik Patel finished unbeaten on 112 but that could have been different had Askew not dropped him on 72.

Askew believes that miss proved the difference between his side starting with a win or the winning draw they had to settle for in the home clash.

He said: “It’s disappointing not to win and I’ll take responsibility for that.

“I dropped Kartik (Patel), who went on to make an unbeaten century, earlier in his innings.

“If I had taken that, there is no doubt in my mind that we would have gone on to win the game.

“These things happen and I just hope it doesn’t prove costly come the end of the season.

“It’s still just one game in though and we’ve got so many games left this season.

“It’s just really frustrating as we’d almost definitely have won the game had I taken that.

“Their number ten, Ravi Shankar, batted well but we would have had 15 overs to try to take the final wicket.”

Askew won the toss and decided to have a bat but things did not start well as he went for three.

His opening partner, Thomas Lee, fell for 37 to leave Littlehampton 79-2.

Louis then made 74 on debut, while Ally James ended unbeaten on 80.

James’ runs came from just 89 balls and allowed his side to reach 214 for six from their 49 overs.

Paul continued to impress in his first game for Littlehampton as he dismissed both Ram openers early on.

Rakesh Patel went for five, while Hersh Tank fell for six to leave the visitors struggling at 23-2.

Tank’s departure brought Kartik Patel to the crease and he played a vital innings to ensure his side avoided defeat.

Patel smashed an unbeaten 112 from just 101 balls to guide Ram to 183 for eight in 45 overs and secure a losing draw.

Patel found support hard to come by with Nishit Patel the next highest scorer in the innings with 18.

Ram’s number three Phani Musale was the only other batsman to reach double figures for his side with 15 but Littlehampton were still denied an opening-day win.

Depsite an expensive first over, Nathan Perry was the top wicket-taker for Littlehampton with 3-54 from his 11 overs.

Paul claimed two victims on his debut, while Matthew Clark ended with the same number of wickets, as Askew’s side kicked off the season with a winning draw, just like they did last season against East Preston.

Littlehampton travel to Pulborough for their first away game of the season on Saturday.

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