James stars to guide Littlehampton home

Chris Heberlein celebrates after taking a wicket on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Chris Heberlein celebrates after taking a wicket on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Ally James ended unbeaten on 88 to guide Littlehampton Cricket Club to a fifth successive West Sussex Invitation League Division 1 win on Saturday.

Jack Stannard smashed 115 as Eastergate amassed 249-3 from their 40 overs.

Littlehampton had their work cut-out to chase that total down but James Askew (79) and James’ unbeaten 88 took them to a seven-wicket win with four balls to spare at The Sportsfield.

The win was a fifth in a row for Littlehampton and ensured they kept the pressure on both Southwater and Felbridge & Sunnyside above them.

Third-placed Littlehampton are now 20 points off Southwater above them, then a further four points adrift of league leaders Felbridge, though, they have a game in hand on both.

Littlehampton skipper James Askew was delighted with the way his side chased down such a high total and said: “The pitch was very flat and easy to bat on. Jack (Stannard) and Steve (Grant) batted brilliantly for them and set a very challenging score.

“The key innings came from Ally (James). He kept a cool head, even when the asking rate went up and over ten an over.

“We are enjoying the ride at the moment but we must keep our feet firmly on the ground. There’s still plenty of cricket to be played and I’m sure there will be plenty more twists and turns.”

Eastergate skipper Stannard decided to bat first and piled on the runs with opening partner Grant.

The duo shared a 132-run stand for the first-wicket, before Grant departed for 65.

After Grant went, Jordan Samad continued where he left off, ending the innings unbeaten on 56.

Stannard lead the way superbly, smashing 115 from 131 balls, to help his side post 249-3 off their 40 overs.

Chris Heberlein (3-54) was the only Littlehampton bowler to take a wicket on what proved a difficult afternoon for them.

Littlehampton opener Thomas Lee (nought) fell cheaply to leave them in trouble at 10-1.

Skipper and opener James Askew (79) smashed some quickfire runs to get his side up with the rate.

Jack Turner (41) offered support at the other end, before he fell after sharing a 95-run second-wicket stand with skipper Askew.

Turner’s dismissal brought James to the crease and he’s played a crucial role in taking Littlehampton to victory.

James put on 70 for wicket number three with James Askew, then an unbeaten stand of 76 with Michael Askew (27 not out) as they got home with four balls to spare.

Michael Askew teed off, while James remained collected at the other end to help Littlehampton reach 251-3 in 39.2 overs.

Jack Saunders, Jack Bateman and Grant all took a wicket each for Eastergate but they failed to defend the total.

Third-placed Littlehampton make the trip to place-below Ram for a Division 1 clash on Saturday.

Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LittlehamptonGazette
3) Follow us on Twitter @LhamptonGazette

4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!

The Littlehampton Gazette - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.