'Crazy!' Cricket team chase 350 inside 40 overs... without losing a wicket

It was the equiavlent of a team chasing 175 to win a T20 match without losing a wicket... twice over.

Things looked ominous for Goring CC when Middleton CC seconds racked up 350-8 in 45 overs in their Sussex Cricket League division four west match on Saturday, that despite Ross Baumann taking five wickets.

It was clearly a decent batting track but the task ahead of Goring as they looked to keep pace with the division's leaders looked ominous. But not only did they reach their 351 target, they did it without losing a wicket - and in 39.2 overs.

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Skipper Alex Maynard led the way with a magnificent 233 not out, featuring 25 fours and 14 sixes, while fellow opener Ben Cartwright proved the perfect foil at the other end with 98 not out.

Alex Maynard and Ben Cartwright with the scoreboard displaying their amazing winning partnership

Maynard reflected on one of the most remarkable run chases seen in the Sussex League in recent times and said: "350 is a lot of runs, I'd imagine in almost every case bar this one it’s a winning score.

"Middleton are a good side and we knew they’d have a decent attack, they are probably one of the most complete sides we have faced this year. We knew it was a good wicket and knew, if as a team we applied ourselves, we could make it competitive.

"The plan really was to just see what happens and be about putting an innings together to collect as many batting points as possible.

"Our plan wasn’t necessarily to attack from the off. I am a naturally aggressive batsman and generally If I can occupy the crease for a longer period of time I score runs quickly and heavily, - 233 not out is absolute madness though and I wouldn’t have thought that could happen in a million years.

"Ben usually looks to build an innings like a more traditional type of cricketer than me, I think it's why we have had success together as a partnership - we complement each other's style and he can usually capitalise when the opposition tend to get a bit distracted by me throwing it about a bit.

"So the plan I guess was to just see where things took us.

"I think not necessarily having a game plan aided us - we got to 15 overs, I got to 50, we got halfway through the overs and were still nowhere near but those milestones distracted from the overall run chase and still then was a damage limitation exercise.

"I would say once I made 100, I asked Ben ‘What do I do now?’ and his advice was carry on and see where It took us. I think when I passed 150 we knew we could get there, there was still a long way to go, I think that was the first time we uttered the worlds 'if we don’t get out we win this’.

"We started to count the runs in the overs and tick the tick the scoreboard over continuously. And I just seemed to keep finding the middle of the bat. I'd say at the second drinks break at 30 overs we know we were going to win, we had the momentum and had it almost at a run a ball."

Now there's talk of whether chasing 350 successfully without losing a single wicket adds up to any kind of league record.

Maynard added: "I have no idea if it’s a league record but I'd imagine it would be close, it’s the highest score this year and definitely the highest partnership for the past few seasons at least. As for it being a club record, nobody within the club can remember anything of that scale. To chase 350 with Ben was crazy and still is to be honest."

Some observers wondered if Cartwright could have got his century but Maynard said: "No I didn’t steal the strike from him t take the glory!

"Ben got the honour of hitting the winning runs and I honestly tried to allow him the strike to get his 100 but no cigar, I don’t think he minds, though, we still did something completely mad."

Next up Goring host the runaway leaders West Wittering this Saturday. Bowlers have been warned...