Steyning begin season with one-run cup loss

Gary Hunt top-scored with 46 in Steyning's one-run defeat to Southwater on Saturday
Gary Hunt top-scored with 46 in Steyning's one-run defeat to Southwater on Saturday

Steyning Cricket Club exited the Sussex League Gray-Nicolls Cup by just one run away to Southwater on Saturday.

Southwater had beaten Slinfold by five wickets earlier in the day and then overcame Steyning by the narrowest of margins. Steyning needed seven to win off the final over but managed to score just five as Southwater progressed into the third round.

Southwater opted to bat first after winning the toss and posted 142-4 from their 20 overs.

Captain Alex Harding was dropped twice on the way to top-scoring with 71, which included eight fours and two sixes. Greg Young also struck 37 not out as 20 runs from the 19th over of the innings boosted their total.

Peter Smith finished with 2-23 from his four overs for Steyning.

Steyning lost opening batsman Christopher Barnett for a duck early in their reply but Gary Hunt (46), captain David Kennett (28) and Oliver Collins (24) all got in as Steyning got to within touching distance of victory.

Southwater held their nerve in the final over, though, as Steyning finished on 141-6.

Kennett said: “It was frustrating in the end but we had quite a youthful side out.

“We bowled really well but the 19th over went for 20, so instead of chasing 120 or maybe 130, we ended up having to chase 142, which was a good score on the wicket.

“We dropped Alex with two tricky chances as well and if we’d taken one of them, we might have ended up chasing under 100.

“In our reply, it just needed one of myself, Gary or Ollie to go on and still be in at the end.

“It was quite a difficult wicket to score runs on when you first went in and pace off the ball was key.

“However, I was very pleased with the youngsters and how we bowled and fielded.

“We needed seven off the last over and Ed (Lamb) was run out off the last ball going for the tie, although we needed to score a boundary off the last ball to win.”

Steyning travel to Findon on Saturday for their opening Sussex League Division 3 game of the season and hope to have Indian overseas player Kuldeep Rawat available for his debut. Opening batsman Hywel Jones and wicketkeeper David Curtis-Botting are back for Steyning.

Kennett said: “It’s going to be a tough league this year as there’s five or six teams of a similar ability.

“We’ve got a tough start with our first three or four games, so will look to pick up as many points as we can and our team will get stronger as the season goes on.”

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