Cricketers all set for table topping clash at Saffrons

David Twine was handed the new ball against Ifield - he could have a key role against leaders Middleton
David Twine was handed the new ball against Ifield - he could have a key role against leaders Middleton

Eastbourne skipper Luke Tomsett believes the battle with the new ball will be key in their top of the table clash against Middleton at the Saffrons (Saturday, 1pm)

Eastbourne’s 30 point victory against Ifield last week closed the gap at the top of the table to 20 points on leaders Middleton.

Tomsett’s men are second in the table on 268 points and Middleton remain top on 288.

Bognor Regis are in third place with 246 while fifth placed St James are one point behind on 245.

The skipper said, “These are the sort of games you want to be involved with at this stage of the season.

“I think the new ball battle will be essential and how both teams play spin.

“I don’t think its a must win as we’ve seen Middleton drop points in recent weeks but its a game we are very much looking to win.

“I guess its always nice to have home advantage as we have quite a good record at The Saffs this season so far.”

Last week Ifield set a target of 147 all out from 35.5 overs with Daniel Smith (32) top scoring for the visitors.

Jacob Smith (3-38) and Brad Evans (3-16) both claimed three wickets while David Twine ended with figures of 2-34.

Eastbourne didn’t have it all their own way in the run chase but surpassed their target in the 55th over for the loss of seven wickets.

Mark Tomsett top scored with patient knock of 51 from 90 balls and Brad Evans (39*) batted well at number seven to see Eastbourne over the line. Ifield’s Pratik Patel took 3-39 and Jigar Parekh ended with 3-36 from 14 overs.

Tomsett added, “The boys did a great job with the ball. Batting was tough on a tricky wicket against their spinners but fortunately Mark and Brad got the job done for us.”

Likely XI for Middleton: D. Wells, J. Smith, D. Rawlins, M. Tomsett, L. Tomsett (capt), J. Turner, B. Evans, J Watts (wkt), B. Twine, D. Twine, B. Barter

Eastbourne seconds also enjoyed that winning feeling as they recorded a five wicket win at Cuckfield.

The hosts batted first and posted a total of 197 all out from 48.2 overs. Darren Senadhira led the way for Cuckfield with 86 as Eastbourne’s Ryan Mansell was the chief tormentor with the ball.

Mansell ended with figures of 4-36 and Richard Smith took 3-66.

Walter Huchu (2-59) and Ben Hacker (1-30) accounted for the others.

Huchu starred with the bat as he blasted 71 and there was also a good knock of 46 not out for Daniel Copping.

The seconds are second in the table five points behind leaders Preston Nomads.