Cricketers open up gap at the top

Eastbourne recorded their fourth straight victory in the league this season to open up a 23-point gap at the top of the table after they beat Pulborough at the Saffrons.

The match saw a good opening partnership of 67 between Tobi Finzel and Dan Wells, who fell for 37.

At 128 for two, with Finzel going steadily on 59 and Alex Pollard looking well set, Eastbourne looked well-placed to make a good score if they accelerated in the final overs, but then Finzel was LBW and the rest of the batting line-up rather fell away.

In the end the innings was closed on 173 for nine, with skipper Lee Callagan taking the bowling plaudits with a fine spell of 6-53.

The Eastbourne bowling attack has been functioning well this season, and there was another excellent performance from them again. Opener Craig Eaves struck early on, but it was paceman David Twine who ripped through the Pulborough middle order, picking up three for 14.

Cameron Smith took the vital wicket of opener Imran Khan, who made a good 59, before skipper Mark Tomsett wrapped up the tail to take three late wickets. Pulborough were eventually bowled out for 142 to leave Eastbourne the winner by 31 runs.

There wasn’t such good news for Eastbourne’s second XI after their trip to Horsham.

Having chosen to bat first, Eastbourne soon lost Jamie Goddard. Jon Purdey and skipper Darren Cumming took the score up to 56 before both men fell.

It was left to 15-year-old Ted Smith and the more experienced Matt Isepp to rebuild the innings. As ever, Isepp’s approach was to attack, while Smith was more circumspect and batted well before he was dismissed for 23. At 139 Isepp was the fifth man to fall, having made 57,

Ilham Muhammadi briefly counterattacked, scoring 23, but another of Eastbourne’s young prospects, Nathan Horsman batted extremely well on his debut for the side to make an undefeated 24.

A total of 218 for nine always looked likely to be short of what was required in the batsman’s paradise that is Horsham – and so it proved. Horsham’s opening pair of Mike Burroughs and Matt Simpson survived an impressive burst opening burst from Harry McLeod and Ted Smith. They eventually put on 167, as Eastbourne’s bowlers struggled to put any sustained pressure on them, before Jamie Goddard struck to dismiss Simpson for 83.

Barnett picked up another wicket, but Burroughs went on to complete his century and finish undefeated on 111 as Horsham won by eight wickets with plenty of time to spare as they established a 17-point gap at the top of the table.