Mitipolaarachchi boosts Hurst with starring role in vital win

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Danny Mitipolaarachchi bowling. Pic Steve Robards SR1518042 SUS-151008-175653001
Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Danny Mitipolaarachchi bowling. Pic Steve Robards SR1518042 SUS-151008-175653001

Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi produced a crucial match-winning display for Billingshurst on Saturday.

The Sri Lankan took five wickets before hitting an unbeaten 92 as his side clinched a second straight Premier Division success.

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Danny Mitipolaarachchi bowling. Pic Steve Robards SR1518092 SUS-151008-175846001

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Danny Mitipolaarachchi bowling. Pic Steve Robards SR1518092 SUS-151008-175846001

Billingshurst secured a tight two-run victory over Horsham last time out and by following that up with a five-wicket triumph over Brighton & Hove, have given themselves a solid chance of retaining their place in the top flight.

The victory saw them climb up two places to sixth in the table after being promoted last season.

Skipper Ben Williams said: “It was great to secure a second straight win. We have been playing some really good cricket of late but we were not rewarded with victories in a couple of matches previous.

“However, in the past couple of weeks our performances have been matched with wins.

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Ben Williams Pic Steve Robards SR1518055 SUS-151008-175751001

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Ben Williams Pic Steve Robards SR1518055 SUS-151008-175751001

“Dhanushka is quality and his class shone through once again on Saturday. But I think the way that Will Fazakerley performed with the new ball was exceptional. He is just 17-years of age and is growing as a player each week.

“All of the side deserve huge credit for this victory.”

Brighton & Hove won the toss and they elected to bat first at the Jubilee Fields.

They struggled early doors and found themselves 40 for two after Sam Grant (14) and Bryce Hounsome (seven) went cheaply.

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Danny Mitipolaarachchi bowling. Pic Steve Robards SR1518079 SUS-151008-175818001

Billingshurst (bowling) v Brighton & Hove. Danny Mitipolaarachchi bowling. Pic Steve Robards SR1518079 SUS-151008-175818001

Alasdair Wilson was the top-scorer for his side as he made 34 from 51 balls.

Number eight Jack Chopping was the next highest scoring bat with 29, while Adam Mates struck 20 before they were dismissed for 183 in 41.3 overs.

Mitipolaarachchi led the bowling attack with figures of 5-26 with former Worthing young gun Will Fazakerly claiming three wickets.

Billingshurst were in real difficulty in their reply as Stuart Barber (eight) and Scott Stratton (13) went to leave them 35 for two.

Tom Nightingale then joined Mitipolaarachchi in the middle and the pair shared a third-wicket stand of 56.

Nightingale fell for 29 but Mitipolaarachchi remained to end the innings not out on 92 and guide his side to 184-5, giving them a five-wicket win.

Billingshurst host second-placed Middleton in the league on Saturday.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!