Roffey knock off high-scoring Hurst to reclaim top spot

Cricket : Sussex League Premier Division: Roffey (fielding) v Billingshurst. Rohit Jagota (bowling). Pic Steve Robards   SR1622467 SUS-160725-175606001
Cricket : Sussex League Premier Division: Roffey (fielding) v Billingshurst. Rohit Jagota (bowling). Pic Steve Robards SR1622467 SUS-160725-175606001
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Rohit Jagota’s unbeaten century helped Roffey back to the top of the Premier Division table for the first time since the start of the season.

In a thrilling derby clash with Billingshurst, the reigning champions chased down 264 for a six-wicket victory on Saturday.

That clinched Matt Davies’ side 28 points to see them leap up from third into top spot after second-placed Cuckfield beat previous leaders Horsham.

Relegation threatened Billingshurst made use of the short boundaries as captain Stuart Barber led the way with 87 as he and Tom Haynes (27) put on an opening partnership of 77 after winning the toss.

Barber was then assisted by Mahesh Rajaratne’s 54 as the pair put on 92 for the second wicket to take Hurst to 169-2.

A flurry of wickets saw them fall to 204-6, before Mike Burrough’s 44 added to the total for the loss of nine wickets. In an expensive day for the bowlers, George Fleming finished with 2-53, Jagota 2-71 and Luke Barnard 3-72.

In reply, Roffey lost Liam Gibson (12) early on and Alex Southon (20) and Theo Rivers (40) were also out to leave the score at 84-3.

A 98-run stand between Usman Khan (57) and Jagota (100*) left them with a platform to ease home and Josh Fleming (24*) assisted the top-scorer as they knocked off the runs four down in 43.1 overs.

Jagota finished the match in style, after pushing a single he then hit the two winning runs needed with a six, which brought up his 100.

Davies said: “It was a really good batting wicket and to be honest, Billingshurst played really well batting wise.

“Stuart Barber did well in the top order and then their overseas as well. Their top three made batting look easy and we were well up against it when they were 170-odd for one wicket.

“At that point we looked like we would struggle, but at that point they slipped. We kept the runs down and took a few wickets and pegged them back. They played into our hands as they did not kick on for a massive total.

“We fought back really well and knew with their bowling attack we should be able to chase it pretty comfortably.

“Rohit, Theo and Usman batted really well and there were partnerships all the way down. Rohit definitely got us over the line, but we were 130-odd by the time he got going and Usman played his natural game at the other end.

“It’s another win and it’s a really pleasing win.”

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