Top two finish back in Worthing’s hands

Josh Wood hit 51 for Worthing on Saturday
Josh Wood hit 51 for Worthing on Saturday

WORTHING Cricket Club have promotion into the Sussex League Premier Division back in their own hands after a tense three-run win at home to leaders Lindfield on Saturday.

That win and Hastings’ defeat to St James’s saw Worthing move up to second place, ten points clear of Hastings, with four games left.

Worthing were all out for 188 on Saturday, following a last-wicket stand of 55 between Shane Felton (35 not out) and Jamie Piper (nine).

Lindfield were reduced to 127-8 in their reply but opening batsman Simon Shivnarain took the visitors to the brink of victory with a 54-run stand with Stephen Pearce.

However, when Shivnarain was out for 113, after he gloved a Benn Challen delivery down the legside to wicketkeeper Ian Gooding, Lindfield needed eight to win with one wicket remaining.

Four more runs were added before Challen dismissed number 11 Huw Jones lbw for one to seal a three-run win for Worthing and maintain his side’s perfect home form.

Worthing have now won all seven of their home matches this season and vice-captain Challen said: “It was a really good game and obviously a great result to beat the team top of the league.

“We’ve got four games left and, hopefully, we can stay in the top two places.

“The pressure is on every team at the end of the season, whether you’re at the top or down at the bottom, so there’s no easy games.

“We’ve just got to take it one at a time but we’ve been playing well recently and it’s down to us where we finish now as we’ve put ourselves in a strong position.”

Matthew Green (36) and Josh Wood (51) put on 85 for Worthing’s first wicket, before Felton blasted 35 not out from 27 balls down the order.

Worthing soon had Lindfield in trouble in their reply as Matt O’Brien was run-out by Green for a duck and Netherlands international Max O’Dowd was bowled first ball by Felton.

Two more quick wickets fell to leave Lindfield 28-4, before Worthing held their nerve to win a tense finish and move to within 24 points of Lindfield.

Worthing travel to fourth-placed Three Bridges, who are 21 points off the promotion places, on Saturday.

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