Welcome return to winning ways

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SL has also looked at this. Check needed last para Martin Blincow 10-3 etc. GR

Rye welcomed Henfield to the Salts on Saturday in this Sussex Premier Cricket League Division four clash, sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera. It was always likely to be a tightly contested fixture given the close proximity of both sides in the league table.

Rye won the toss and elected to field first, on a wicket that was likely to be two paced as a result of excess watering the day before. They struck immediately, with Adam Scott falling to a good delivery that nipped back off the seam from Kshemal Waingankar. Gary Willis also found his stride, picking up both Harry Stewart and Zimbabwean international Brighton Mugochi, in the space of two overs. Both Waingankar and Willis worked well in tandem to slowly erode away the Henfield batting, effectively breaking the back of the innings leaving Henfield reeling at 67 for 5.

However, as is often the case, there was a twist in the tale, as Jack Parsons (25) and Martyn Jepson (37) established a stable partnership to move the Henfield innings into bonus point territory. At 121 for 5, Rye were worried that Henfield would post a more than competitive total, however, the return to the attack of Craig Pierce (2 for 39) and Skipper Willis proved more than enough for the Henfield lower order, as they collapsed to 142 all out. Willis (experiencing somewhat of a renaissance) finished with excellent figures of 5 for 29. Waingankar was equally impressive, finishing with 3 for 25 from 14 miserly overs.

With the wicket drying, Rye felt that 142 was just below par. The innings got off to a poor start with Rye losing opener Dan Seabrook for 1. However, James Hamilton at the other end started to stroke the ball around comfortably, in partnership with Mark Cook (19). The pair added 67 for the second wicket, before Cook fell to the bowling of Brighton Mugochi. At 75 for 2, Waingankar joined Hamilton, and as Hamilton passed 50 Rye found themselves cruising towards victory.

Nonetheless, Mugochi had other ideas and removed Waingankar (12) with a delivery that came back and then dismissed Hamilton with the same delivery, playing a loose shot for a well-made 65. Rye then collapsed from 104 for 4 to 126 for 8, with Mugochi ripping through the Rye middle order. However, both Harry Smeed and Craig Pierce started to guide Rye to the finish line with a partnership worth 14. At 140 for 8 victory seemed assured before Smeed was removed by George Stewart for a gutsy 11, leaving Rye teetering 9 down with 3 runs required for victory. Pierce then hit Mugochi for two to the deep mid wicket boundary, before number 11 Billy Blackford edged the ball past gully for a rushed single to win the game.

Mugochi finished with outstanding figures of 7 for 31 in a tight contest that was a great advert for the game of cricket. For Rye, this was a welcome return to winning ways in their up and down season. With Crawley winning, hopes of promotion still seem distant, however, they have a good chance of claiming a vital scalp on Saturday against Slinfold, who sit nine points above them in the league table, with the aim of keeping pressure on second placed Crawley.

Second XI : Rye 2nds travelled to Burgess Hill on Saturday and suffered again at the hand of fate, as they lost the toss yet again, only two wins from 13 flips of the coin. Invited to bat, they made good headway, rattling along at 5 runs an over, but unfortunately lost wickets at a similar rate. Top scorer in the top 5 was 15 year old Tobias Farrow with 23, but at 90-6, the Rye tail began to wag as Alasdair Bailey batted beautifully for 26 until he was run out by a cruel twist of fate, as the bowler diverted a hard hit drive onto the stumps. The tail continued to wag as Mike Stoneham 11 and Nick Paine, 7 not out frustrated the bowling attack, adding 30 for the 10th wicket to reach 179 all out.

Burgess Hill got under way in reply as Cromb hit 26 before Bailey bowled him. However apart from Martin Blincow 10 – 3 – 17-3, nobody else was able to exert enough pressure to elicit the necessary breakthroughs, as Luke Vick hit 102 not out and steered Burgess Hill to victory off 44 overs.

This coming weekend the 1st XI entertain Slinfold in a promotion clash, the Seconds travel to Haywards Heath, and the Thirds are away to Pett 2nd XI.

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