Last Saturday saw a victory for Rye over Eastbourne 2nd Xl in a game played in extreme climatic conditions. Skipper Harry Smeed forfeited all his votes for player of the season as he lost the toss and Rye were invited to field in sweltering and humid conditions.
And Eastbourne made a promising start progressing at six an over with Thomas Coomber 51, Henry Taylor 51 and Chris Borsoi 44 putting Eastbourne in a strong position. But the Rye bowlers stuck to their task and Harry Smeed 2-32 and Martin Blincow 2-48 took important wickets to steady the flow, and only a quick fire partnership at the end got Eastbourne to 259-6 off 40 overs.
The wicket was playing well, thanks to the efforts of club members during the previous week, though the outfield proved a minefield, with Craig Pierce struck on the head, and having to retire for a few overs to ice off a bump.
Rye sped off in pursuit of the target of 260 and Harry Smeed 81 and James Hamilton 35 took Rye to 111 in a breath-taking opening partnership. Then a stutter. Hamilton and Smeed were caught on the boundary, Luke Payton run out backing up, two more wickets and the next batsmen in, running off for a fire shout. 162-5 with 16 overs to go, nerves were jangling.
Craig Pierce 59 not out and Ben Clifton 36 not out with hard clean hitting, began piercing the boundaries and rotating the strike. The runs came freely and with 15 off 4 balls of the 39th over, Rye won by 5 wickets with 8 balls to spare.
A resounding victory, with 10 of the 11 players, having represented Rye as juniors. The other player was far too old to have ever been a junior. Next Saturday the 1st Xl hosts Bexhill 1sts and the 2nd Xl travel to play Bexhill 3rds.
Image Credits: Rye Cricket Club .