Invitation League round up: Chaloner’s eight-wicket haul gets West Chiltington off to winning start

Just Gr-eight! James Chaloner took best figures of 8-49 on Saturday

Just Gr-eight! James Chaloner took best figures of 8-49 on Saturday

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Newly-promoted West Chiltington and Thakeham enjoyed the perfect start to life in Division One thanks to a fabulous eight-wicket haul from club stalwart James Chaloner.

Two divisions separated Chilt from Littlehampton, Clapham and Patching a year ago but the visitors mustered just 100 before being dismissed in the 31st over.

JPCT 040513 S13190378x CRICKET :  West Chilt & Thakeham v Littlehampton.  Armstrong bowling for W'Chilt -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 040513 S13190378x CRICKET : West Chilt & Thakeham v Littlehampton. Armstrong bowling for W'Chilt -photo by Steve Cobb

Chief destroyer was Chilt’s record wicket-taker Chaloner who took a fabulous 8-49 from his 15 overs.

In reply although Chilt lost three batsmen cheaply, captain James Howgate made a rapid half century and new signing, Iain Haggart an unbeaten 31 as they got home in just the 17th over for the loss of only four wickets.

Veteran Chaloner said: “I’m not sure it was my best bowling effort but these eight were the best league figures I’d achieved for nine years.”

In Division Two, Dan Smith hit a fine century on his return to Broadbridge Heath in a winning draw against Broadwater on Saturday.

Heath skipper Craig Skilton was delighted his side posted 209-9 having endured a “terrible toss to lose” and been stuck in on a damp track which flattened out over the course of the afternoon.

Skilton made a patient 46, but star of the show with the willow was Smith - back after playing for Roffey in the Premier League and called a “class act” by his skipper - whose knock of 114 included 12 fours and three sixes.

In reply left arm spinner Fred Bridges took a fine 6-51, but Heath just couldn’t dislodge Broadwater’s last pairing, dropping one of them late on as they held on at 155-9.

Skilton said: “I would probably have taken 150 runs so to get 200 plus was a good effort. But they never looked like challenging it so it was about bowling them out, but we just couldn’t dislodge their last pair.”

Elsewhere in Division Two Storrington opened their season with a nine-wicket defeat away at St Andrews.

Mike Duddy with 28 and Matt Talbot with 25 top scored for the visitors as they were bowled out for 105, a total the hosts reached for the loss of just one wicket.

In Division Three Stephen Courquin bowled a six-wicket haul as Barns Green opened with a losing draw at Crawley Nayee.

Green struggled to reach Crawley’s 203-9 declared which saw Hiren Parekh top score with 77.

Courquin top scoring with 26, following his fine bowling figures of 6-31, but their final pair of Ben Hill and Ryan Johnston saw out the final balls to snatch a draw.

Barns Green’s Seconds took on Rustington Seconds in their Division Eight opener.

Put into bat, stand-in Green skipper Russ Parkes steadied the ship with 62 after the first three wickets fell for ten runs.

Parkes and James Powell put on a fourth wicket stand of 137, and Powell finished unbeaten on 97, just missing out on his maiden century after showing plenty of promise as Barns Green finished on 184-4.

In reply Geoffrey Clements bowled opener Jonathan Weaver for a duck, but after that early promise Rustington made a strong start and were always ahead of the run-rate.

A run-a-ball 56 from Clive Mann kept them ticking over before a quick-fire 40 not out from Adam Taylor saw the visitors home with seven overs to spare. Under-16 spinner Alex Hammonds impressed with two wickets.