Kshemal Waingankar scored a magnificent unbeaten century as Rye’s cricketers got back to winning ways.
Rye’s overseas player blasted 159 not out to pave the way for a 93-run victory at home to newly-promoted Southwater on Saturday.
In a Sussex Cricket League Division Four match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera, Rye lost the toss and were asked to bat on what looked like a flat wicket at The Salts.
Dan Seabrook fell to a good delivery from Nick Baker for four, leaving Rye concerned about the potential of another collapse. What followed, however, was an excellent partnership between James Hamilton and Waingankar.
Both players saw off the new ball before cashing in on what was a very good batting wicket at The Salts. The pair put on 166 for the second wicket and all but set up a competitive total.
When Hamilton fell for 59 with the score on 172, Waingankar was poised to score his second hundred of the season.
Before he reached this milestone, though, a procession of Rye wickets fell in the pursuit of quick runs. Only Mickey Toomey (16) managed to compile any late runs, although Waingankar continued to dispatch the bowling to all parts of the ground.
This excellent performance enabled Rye to declare on 277-7 after 48 overs, leaving them 52 overs to bowl Southwater out.
Given the quality of the wicket, and the fact that it had dried out nicely, taking 10 wickets was always going to be a challenge. This proved to be the case throughout the Southwater innings as away skipper Johan Brouwer (38) set about the Rye attack in positive fashion.
Waingakar (5-45) and Gary Willis (1-42) picked up early wickets to put the pressure on Southwater, though, and at 96-5 after Harry Smeed (2-46) removed Brouwer with a decent delivery, it looked as though Rye would complete an excellent victory.
Nonetheless, Danny Humphreys continued his good day with a well-compiled 47 (having earlier picked up three wickets with the ball) before falling victim to Craig Pierce (2-15) to make it 181-8.
Pierce cleaned up the tail nicely in combination with Waingankar to bowl Southwater out for 184 and earn Rye a hard-fought win on a tough pitch for the bowlers with nine overs to spare.
The result moved Rye back up to third place and they now face two crunch games in their quest to be part of the promotion shake-up. A visit to fourth-placed Crawley this coming Saturday will be followed by a home game against second-placed Mayfield next weekend.
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