Slinfold captain Guy Thorne was left to rue another stand-out performance from an overseas player – but still felt his side should have chased down 125 ‘in their sleep’.
In a low-scoring game at Lyons Road, Stirlands’ Ajinkya Deshpande stole the show by hitting 64 and then claiming 8-48 as they won by five runs.
Batting first after being inserted, Michael Clowes (four) and Will Gubbins (13) were the only two to score until Deshpande came in at six and went on to topscore.
Slinfold’s Akeem Jordan continued to have success with the ball as he claimed 7-22 with Jonathan Phillmore (17) the only other score of note as Stirlands closed at 125.
In the home side’s reply, the opening three fell for ducks, before Steve Haines scored 26.
Knocks down the order from Dan Graycon (19), Tom Filby (10), Harrison Webb (14) and Matt Shuttlewood (23*) gave them a real chance, but they fell five runs short with 120 all out in 20.5 overs.
Thorne said: “Unfortunately, we struggled with the bat again against another good performance from an overseas player.
“The division seems to be going that way which is a little bit of a shame, overseas players seem to be leading the way and single- handedily winning games – we’ve seen it with Crawley and Rye and frustratingly we saw it again this week, however despite the lad bowling well, we should have been able to chase 126 in our sleep, not struggle the way we did.
“We did fantastically well to bowl them out for 126, but to not be able to chase that score is almost unforgiveable.
“It’s two weeks in a row where we’ve lost by one wicket, those extra 20-30 points could be the difference between us getting promoted or not. We now have a lot of work to do to get our season back on track and to chase Crawley down, and will have to be perfect until the end of the season.”