ARUNDEL Cricket Club remain in pole position to win the West Sussex Invitation League title after recording a losing draw away to fellow title rivals Littlehampton on Saturday.
James Askew blasted 170 not out as he moved past 1,000 league runs for the season in Littlehampton’s total of 265-1 from their 49 overs. Arundel finished their reply on 210-6 as Littlehampton took 17 points from the game and Arundel five.
Arundel are now 13 points clear of second-placed West Chiltington, who won by five wickets at home to Ram and are 36 points ahead of third-placed Littlehampton with four games left each.
Littlehampton were put into bat after losing the toss and Askew and Nathan Perry shared a 177-run opening stand.
Perry was bowled by Matthew Reynolds for 66 after hitting ten fours and one six from 124 deliveries, before Askew and Ally James shared an unbroken 88-run stand for the second wicket.
Askew, who was dropped on 53 and again after he had reached three figures, smashed 16 fours and 11 sixes in his unbeaten 170 from 158 balls, while James struck 18 not out off 13 deliveries.
Askew now has 1,064 league runs this summer and has struck six centuries and one half-century at an average of 96.73.
Arundel lost captain Joe Bain for 12 when he was bowled by Ryan Budd with the score on 28, before Joel Crook and Reynolds shared a 67-run second-wicket stand.
Reynolds was stumped by Michael Askew off Andy Greig for 29, before Crook added 60 for the third-wicket with Mark Barry. He blasted 42 from only 22 balls, with three fours and four sixes, before he was out with the score on 155.
Jacob Temple was bowled by Greig for two just three runs later and when Charlie Horne was bowled by Nathan Perry, Arundel were 171-5.
Crook became Budd’s second victim when he was out lbw for 77, after hitting 11 fours from 126 balls, which left the score 187-6.
But Kieran Hornsby finished unbeaten on 30, from 20 balls, and Alex Moore struck two not out as the game finished in a draw.
Budd finished with 2-34, Greig took 2-53 and Perry claimed 2-54.
Askew stepped down as Littlehampton captain last week owing to work commitments, with Ally James and Chris Heberlein taking over until the end of the season.
Askew said: “We outclassed them in all areas of the game. Batting, we knew we needed a big score and we stopped them from getting any bowling bonus points.
“We thought at the halfway stage that they’d go for it because they didn’t have any points but, after we got their captain Joe Bain out, they never really tried to go for it.”
Littlehampton host St Andrews on Saturday, while Arundel entertain fourth-placed Felbridge.
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