Littlehampton score big win over league leaders

McCleod Cox took three wickets, then ended unbeaten on 38 to help Littlehampton beat league leaders Southwater. Picture by Stephen Goodger
McCleod Cox took three wickets, then ended unbeaten on 38 to help Littlehampton beat league leaders Southwater. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Littlehampton Cricket Club captain James Askew hailed one of the best ‘all-round team performances’ from his side this season on Saturday.

Littlehampton scored a crucial five-wicket win over West Sussex Invitation League Division 1 league leaders Southwater.

McCleod Cox, Askew and Ryan Budd bagged three wickets apiece to dismiss Southwater for 169 in 45.5 overs.

Opener Thomas Lee (44) and Ally James (32) put Littlehampton in command before an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 62 between Cox (38*) and skipper Askew (21 not out) guided the home side to 170-5 off 38 overs.

The win moved Littlehampton into fourth in the standings, leaving them 36 points behind leaders Southwater with a game in hand.

Askew now hopes his team can begin to put a winning run together.

He said: “It was a cracking result and it could not have gone any better. It was one of our best all-round performances of the season so far.

“It leaves the league all very tight but we know we have to start putting a winning run together.

“We bowled well, putting the ball in the right areas, which was backed up by the fielding.

“Ally James’ catch to dismiss Alex Harding, who was a big threat, was unbelievable.

“We then batted sensibly to chase down the target. It wasn’t our normal home wicket, it was a lot slower than usual and not as bouncy, so we had to be more patient in the chase.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted in the upcoming games and want to put a run together.”

Askew and Cox took the opening four wickets to fall –two each – to leave Southwater struggling at 50-4. Paul Osborne (44) and Greg Young (22) steadied things slightly for the travelling team but they were eventually skittled out for just 169 from 45.5 overs.

Cox, Askew and Budd did well with the ball as the trio finished up with three wickets each.

Chris Heberlein (17) and Jack Turner (seven) went cheaply to leave Littlehampton wobbling at 57-2.

Opener Lee (44) and James (32) got back on track, before Cox and Askew joined each other at the crease to take their side home. Cox crashed an unbeaten 38, while Askew was undefeated on 21 as Littlehampton reached 170-5 – earning a five-wicket win.

James Skett, Osborne, Alex Harding and Johann Brouwer all took one wicket each.

Littlehampton travel to basement boys Horsham Trinity on Saturday. It’s a fixture Askew won’t be taking lightly.

He added: “We want to put a string of results together in the league now.”

Littlehampton’s defence of their T20 title was due to get going on Sunday. But a home tie against fellow Division 1 rivals Eastergate was cancelled as they were unable to raise a team.

Littlehampton have now ensured a spot in the quarter-finals, with the winner of Southwater’s game against Crawley Eagles providing the opposition.

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