Southwick promoted after tie thriller

Southwick Cricket Club's promotion-winning team.
Southwick Cricket Club's promotion-winning team.

Southwick Cricket Club’s promotion back into West Sussex Invitation League Division 3 was confirmed on Saturday.

A thrilling tie with Himani was enough to ensure Southwick can finish no lower than second in Division 4 this season.

Littlehampton’s 2nd XI, who started the day in third, did all they could by beating league leaders Dome Mission but Southwick’s 15-point return from their tie against Himani proved enough.

With just a game to go, Russell Martin’s side have an unassailable 39-point cushion between themselves in second and place-below Littlehampton.

Southwick skipper Martin believes promotion has been down to a great effort from all of his team over the course of the campaign.

He said: “It’s great to gain promotion. The big difference this year has been contributions throughout the team.

“Everyone has chipped in with either bat or ball at some stage of the season, which has then taken the pressure off some of the other players.

“There is slight disappointment as if we had got the victory we’d have still been in with a chance of catching Dome Mission and taking the title. If we’d been offered promotion at the start of the season we’d have taken, so the title isn’t a big deal.”

Himani skipper Praynay Patel chose to bat first but his side struggled early on.

Openers Bhavin Nayee (one) and Pranay Patel (nought) fell to Chay Chapman and Paul Grennan respectively to leave them in a spot of bother at 4-2.

A half-century from Tarang Patel (53) and Bharat Panchal’s contribution (43) proved crucial in getting their side to 137 all out in 37 overs.

Grennan (3-16) and Craig Dawson (3-24) bowled well to put Southwick in control at the halfway stage.

It was a total that looked more than chaseable but the home side made a real hash of their batting innings.

Openers Peter Fieldwick (two) and Chapman (ten) went in quick succession, while skipper Martin fell soon afterwards to leave Southwick wobbling at 33-3.

Things failed to improve with wickets continuing to fall all too regularly as Martin’s side slumped to 49-5, then 96-9.

An unbeaten 28 from Grennan so nearly got Southwick over the line as he shared a last-wicket stand of 42 with Tom Broadfoot.

Needing just one to win off the final delivery, Broadfoot (nine) was run-out leaving Southwick all out for 138 as well.

Promoted Southwick finish their season at Littlehampton’s 2nd XI on Saturday.

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