League leaders Horsham continued their rich vein of form as they eased to victory over a struggling Worthing side at the Manor Ground on Saturday.
Worthing were heavily depleted and gamblers wouldn’t have made their fortunes predicting the result - helped in Horsham’s favour by centuries from Craig Gallagher and Joe Ludlow as well as a seven-wicket haul from Michael Munday.
Their maximum point victory, coupled with Preston Nomads’ game against the Sussex Development XI being rained off on Sunday, sees James Johnson’s side open up at 31-point lead at the top.
Stunning opening stands of 233 between Gallagher (113) and Ludlow (111) at virtually a run per ball after Horsham had won the toss, left them in the driving seat.
Nick Oxley’s left arm spin got the breakthrough as Gallagher edged behind and shortly afterwards Ludlow was stumped off the same bowler. Oxley finished with figures of 2-98 from 14 overs.
Home skipper Matthew Green claimed the other victim, Michael Thornely who was caught by Oxley at mid-wicket for 20.
Green’s off spin had given him a modicum of control conceding just 53 runs from his 14 overs, but Horsham felt confident enough to declare on 291-3 after 49 overs, leaving Worthing a generous 61 overs to chase their target.
Horsham were without the bowling services of Jofra Archer who was injured playing for Sussex 2nd XI during the week, but Munday was at their disposal and he ended with 7-54 from 15.3 overs.
Jamie Thornely claimed 2-35 from nine overs and Archer attempted some off spin finishing with 1-32 off nine overs.
Opening batsman Josh Wood top scored with 32, Harris and Oxley both made 21 and Stuart Carter 24 but Worthing were always going to fall short and indeed did so on 154 all out from 38.3 overs.
Johnson said: “We are on a bit of a run. Craig and Joe are batting really well at the moment. They are putting most bowlers under a lot of pressure at the start.
“Especially Craig, the way he played saw them have to make a lot of bowler changes in the first 10 overs, the field spread quickly.
“There hundreds allowed us a bit of firepower down the order and got us up to 290 quickly so we could have enough overs to bowl them out. Craig and Joe were fantastic. It’s nice to see Craig really hungry for his runs. I’m not saying he wasn’t before, I can just see a change in him.
“The pitch was perfect for Michael, if anything it spun too much and Jamie Thornely had a nice opening spell.
“Michael was just Michael. It just becomes an everyday thing for him. There are very good batsmen in the league and they don’t turn up every week and hit hundreds, it is slightly different as batting you only get one chance and bowling you get six balls, but he still does it every week.
“He goes about his business and the outcome is the same every week.”
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