LITTLEHAMPTON Cricket Club’s title hopes were dealt a blow on Saturday when their four-game winning run came to an end with a two-wicket defeat at Ram.
They remain second in the West Sussex Invitation League but now trail leaders Arundel, who won by 78 runs at Broadwater, by 39 points.
Littlehampton were all out for 173 in 49 overs, before Ram got home in 37.4 overs as Littlehampton suffered their third league defeat of the season.
Skipper James Askew is hoping his side can now go on another good run of form and said: “I felt we were 20 or 30 runs short of a competitive total.
“It was one of our worst batting performances all season.
“If we could have got to 200, I think we would have won the game.
“Full credit to Ram, though, they came out firing in their batting innings.
“We had a few chances and dropped a couple of catches but at no stage did we feel that the win would be ours.
“It was a disappointing defeat but we must respond in the right way against Broadwater on Saturday.”
Littlehampton batted first after winning the toss but lost Nathan Perry for one and then captain Askew, the league’s leading run scorer, for 11 to leave them 21-2
Tom Lee (21), Ally James (35) and Michael Askew (36) all got starts, before Chris Heberlein made 25 at number nine to give Littlehampton some valuable late innings runs but they were dismissed for 173.
Bunty Suthar claimed 4-39 from 12 overs for Ram, before he hit 30 as his side made a steady start to their chase.
Ram then lost a cluster of wickets as Rakesh Patel (11), Phani Musale (18) and Harshil Patel (nought) all went in quick succession.
The game looked to be in the balance at that point but Kartik Patel’s entrance to the crease proved to be the difference.
Patel finished unbeaten on 58 and batted with the tail to guide Ram to a two-wicket win in 37.4 overs.
Heberlein followed up his late innings runs with three wickets for 57 runs from 13.4 overs and Perry took two for 29 off seven overs.
Littlehampton host fifth-placed Broadwater on Saturday.
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