Broadwater still lead the way ahead of crunch clash

Broadwater Cricket Club captain Nigel Waller says his side do not view themselves as favourites for the West Sussex Invitation League title, despite a sixth win from nine matches on Saturday.

Broadwater are all smiles after taking a wicket in their five-wicket win at home to Arundel on Saturday
Broadwater are all smiles after taking a wicket in their five-wicket win at home to Arundel on Saturday

A five-wicket victory over bottom-of-the-table Arundel sees Broadwater sit 43 points clear at the top, ahead of a trip to second-placed Ram on Saturday.

Waller said: “I don’t think we see ourselves as favourites but we’re playing well, doing well and have a good team.

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“I said last week that our target is to try to finish in the top three and that’s still the case. Obviously as each game passes and we’re still top, other people might make us favourites, but it’s not something we’ve really spoken about. All we want to do is better last year which it looks as though we are going to do.

“We want to finish in the top three and if that happens to be top spot, then all well and good but we’ve got a very tough game away to Ram this week. They’re a good team and got a winning draw against us at our place earlier in the season.”

Broadwater, league champions in 2008 and 2009, have won six of their nine games, while a number of other matches have ended in draws this season.

After Pulborough pulled out of the league, that left just 14 matches for each team and Waller said: “When it’s just 14 games instead of 16, it’s going to make the league that much closer.

“There’s been a lot of draws and it’s very tight – Littlehampton have had a lot of winning draws but won’t be that far away from us if they win their game in hand and we still have to play them as well.”

Broadwater won the toss and elected to field first at home to Arundel.

The visitors finished their 49 overs on 153-9 as Nick Murray top-scored with 59, captain Joe Bain hit 25 and Samuel Theodoridi struck 22.

James Salisbury returned 3-52 from 15 overs, Paul O’Sullivan took 2-22 and there was a wicket each for Gareth Challen and James Iago, whose 15 overs went for just 25 runs.

Broadwater lost Graham Waller, the division’s leading run-scorer, for four early in their reply and the dismissals of Corey Cogan (16), Chris Green (29) and Iago (nought) left them 74-4.

However, Challen batted well for 49, before Les Ward (31 not out) and O’Sullivan (13 not out) saw Broadwater home with more than four overs to spare.

Nigel Waller said: “It was probably a good toss to win looking back on it. We didn’t bowl them out in 49 overs, so might not have done if they’d had 45 overs batting second.

“At 70-4 in our innings, we were in a spot of bother but Gareth and Les both batted well, while it was good to see Chris get a few runs as well.

“After we lost Graham early, it was nice to see other players chip in – it’s been the story of our season that everyone who has played has contributed at some point.”

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