WORTHING Cricket Club remain in pole position in Sussex League Division 2 after a convincing victory over one of their promotion rivals on Saturday.
Worthing defeated St James by 87 runs at the Manor Ground, although Cuckfield’s eight-wicket win over Bexhill means they remain just six points clear at the top.
A rain shower just before the start meant Worthing were inserted into bat after St James won the toss and they made 181-9 in their 53 overs. Benn Challen top-scored with 37, from only 32 balls, before he unfortunately hit his own stumps with his bat when attempting to duck a Raza Ali bouncer.
Darryl Rebbetts (34), Andy Reid (34) and John Kaye (29) also contributed to Worthing’s total, before Worthing captain Michael Gould was amazed at St James’ batting performance.
They were all out for 94 in 30.1 overs, with Andy Lutwyche taking 5-32 and Luke Vinter 3-42, and Gould said: “I was disappointed with them for a team up there challenging.
“Their bowling was fine but their batsmen came in and just tried to smash every ball. They just seemed to hit the self-destruct button, so it was a very peculiar game.
“We were maybe 20 runs short in our innings but you’d have thought we’d scored 300 with the way they were batting.
“It was a very pleasing win, though. We held some excellent catches and Andy Lutwyche and Luke Vinter bowled really well.
“The league table’s looking good for us at the moment but we’ve got two big games coming up against Goring on Saturday and Stirlands the week after.
“They’re both good clubs but we’ve got to be beating the teams in the middle to lower end of the table.”
Batsman Dominic Clapp returns for Worthing on Saturday for his first game of the season.