WORTHING Cricket Club just failed to make it two successive wins to start the Sussex League Premier Division season on Saturday.
After recovering from 9-4 to reach 188, Worthing reduced Brighton & Hove to 165-9 but the visitors held on for the final two overs as they closed on 178-9 and the game was drawn.
Worthing were in all kinds of trouble after losing four early wickets after winning the toss and electing to bat but captain Darryl Rebbetts and Alex Harris steadied things with a 117-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Harris was out for 43, after hitting seven fours in his 106-ball innings, and Ian Gooding then struck 19 in a 36-run stand with Rebbetts, who ran out of partners as he finished unbeaten on 99.
Rebbetts, who was dropped at mid-wicket on 15, batted for 172 balls and hit 13 fours but was unable to get back on strike after taking a single off the first ball of the last over and Josh Goldsmith was the last man out three balls later.
Matthew Wood took 4-44 off 18.4 overs for Brighton and Chris Grammer claimed 3-62 from 16 overs.
Worthing took regular wickets throughout the Brighton innings. Chris Atherton, who top-scored for the visitors, was dropped a couple of times on his way to making 75 before he was eighth man out with the score on 155.
Jordan Shaw was then one of John Glover’s four wickets with the score on 165 but Guy Williamson, with 24 not out from 21 balls, and Wood, who scored three not out from six deliveries, ensured Brighton held on for the draw.
Glover finished with 4-66 off 19 overs, while Luke Vinter and Benn Challen also took two wickets each.
Worthing skipper Rebbetts said: “It was a really good game. The wicket was tough to bat on and we were 9-4 early on but the key to scoring runs was getting in.
“It took a while to work the wicket out and they bowled very tightly.
“Batting through the innings was always my target. It was a little bit frustrating to finish just short of a hundred but I was pleased to put the team in a good position as 180 was a good score.
“We then had two overs at their last pair but there weren’t any chances for us to get the win.”
Worthing hope to have Michael Gould back for Saturday’s trip to Hastings but Matt Machan and Matthew Green are both unavailable.
Rebbetts said: “Both of their games have been rained off so far, while we’ve played two full games, so, hopefully, it will be a good time to play them.”