Bowling attack leads Broadwater to second league win in a row

Benn Challen took 3-20 for Broadwater in their five-wicket home win over Littlehampton, Clapham & Patching in Division 3 West on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Benn Challen took 3-20 for Broadwater in their five-wicket home win over Littlehampton, Clapham & Patching in Division 3 West on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Broadwater made it two Division 3 West wins on the spin as they picked up a five-wicket home victory over Littlehampton, Clapham & Patching on Saturday.

Graham Merritt-Blann (4-32) and Benn Challen (3-20) did the damage with the ball for Broadwater as Littlehampton were bowled all out for 166 in 41.2 overs.

The hosts picked off the required total, scoring 167-5 off 36.2 overs, as Paul O’Sullivan topscored (45). Victory pushed Broadwater up to fifth in the table after five games.

Captain Nigel Waller was delighted to pick up a second consecutive win and felt the tough nature of the league meant ‘every point they get will be vital’.

He said: “(It was) another good win and important to get back-to-back victories. It’s looking like this will be a very tight league so every point we can get will be vital.

“All the bowlers bowled well with Blanny (Graham Merritt-Blann) and Benn taking seven wickets and Sully (Paul O’Sullivan) taking a couple. We were pleased to restrict them to 160 odd.

“Graham (Waller) and Sully built a very solid platform and, although we lost a few wickets in quick succession, Joel (Lewis) and Ian (Gooding)’s partnership was what we needed to get us over the line.”

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A 70-run first-wicket knock from James Askew (43) and Thomas Lee (32) laid down a solid foundation to Littlehampton’s innings before Askew was taken by Merritt-Blann.

The loss of Louis Paul (16) to the rampant Merritt-Blann saw Littlehampton falter, as the Broadwater bowling attack reduced the away side from 102-2 to 115-5.

Ally James (35) at four was proving to be a real thorn in the host’s side but he was the only other batsman to score more than ten as Littlehampton’s final total was well below par.

A 90-run opening wicket partnership from Graham Waller (38) and O’Sullivan (45) set Broadwater’s innings up nicely before Waller was bowled by Nathan Perry (2-23).

O’Sullivan could only add another ten to the total before Broadwater experienced a wobble - going 100-2 to 118-4.

Lewis (36*) and Gooding (17) steadied the ship as they took the hosts just three runs from victory. Gooding lost his wicket leaving Lewis to strike the winning runs.

Broadwater host table-topping Steyning on Saturday and captain Waller said: “Steyning are top, so will doubtless be very strong. We have to keep performing as we have done for the last couple of games.”