Littlehampton keep the pressure on leaders

Ryan Budd in action for Littlehampton against Eastergate on Saturday
Ryan Budd in action for Littlehampton against Eastergate on Saturday

Littlehampton Cricket Club closed the gap on West Sussex Invitation League leaders Broadwater to 25 points with a two-wicket win at home to Eastergate on Saturday.

Ally James smashed 126 not out from 97 balls as Littlehampton chased down Eastergate’s 265-9 with three balls to spare.

Broadwater remain top of the table, 15 points ahead of second-placed Ram, who have played a game more. Littlehampton are third after back-to-back wins and still have Broadwater to play, on August 13, but Littlehampton captain James Askew believes Broadwater are favourites to win the league.

He said: “I still think the title is Broadwater’s to lose.

“We’ve still got to play them but they have the points on the board and I just can’t see them dropping too many points.

“I think we’re going to have to win all four of our remaining games to win the league.”

Eastergate batted first after winnng the toss and a 177-run second-wicket stand between Jack Stannard (71) and Nick Smith (112) put them in a strong position.

Dan Jadzevics (31 not out) and Nathan Green (24) added runs down the order as Eastergate closed their 49 overs on 265-9.

Nathan Perry led the way with 5-55 from 12 overs and Chris Heberlein picked up 3-75 off 14 overs.

Littlehampton lost Tom Lee for a duck with the score on 23 in their reply, before Askew fell for 46 to leave the hosts 64-2.

James then put on 92 for the third wicket with Jack Turner (51), before he held the innings together and guided Littlehampton to victory. He struck 15 fours and four sixes as Littlehampton inflicted a first defeat of the season on Eastergate.

Littlehampton then progressed into the T20 Cup finals day with a 57-run quarter-final win over St Andrews at Brighton on Sunday.

Littlehampton batted first after winning the toss and scored 164-5 from their 20 overs. James struck eight fours and one six in 68 from 54 balls and Louis Paul hit eight fours as he struck 53 off 41 deliveries. Heberlein added 21 not out from 12 balls at the end of the innings.

Littlehampton bowled tightly in reply and St Andrews were restricted to 107-6 from their 20 overs. Alex Ellis top-scored with 54 from 56 balls, while Paul, Askew, Perry, Matthew Clark and Oliver Hemsley all picked up a wicket.

Littlehampton have their free week on Saturday, before they return to action away to Felbridge on August 6.

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