‘Nearly men’ Pulborough run hot favourites Eastbourne close

Pulborough were the nearly men again as they came agonisingly close to a first win of 2013 against hot promotion favourites Eastbourne.

Playing away at a Saffrons ground hit by heavy rain the night before, Boro skipper Lee Callagan took six wickets to limit the hosts to 173-9.

In reply Imran Khan hit a good half century but in the end Pulborough just fell short to give early Division 2 leaders Eastbourne their fourth win from four.

“We’re nearly there but we are just in need of that first win,” Callagan said. “Every week we’ve been close to victory or nearly there so it is a little frustrating.

“But on the plus side we were missing a number of players and we’re the first team to take points off Eastbourne, even though it was only a couple.”

The overnight rain nearly put pay to the match, but it did go ahead and Eastbourne opener Toby Finzel his a measured 59, with fellow opener Dan Wells 37. Callagan’s medium pace yielded him 6-53, while Boro’s only spinner on the day, overseas player Chamikara Mudalige bowled well for 3-31.

Pulborough showed 173 was a manageable target even on a slow track, but after a slick 59 Khan again got out to a bad ball, top edging as he tried to play around the corner to give a catch to the slips, and he lacked proper support as last man Callagan was bowled only a few overs short of holding on for a draw.

James Chriss did his job at the other end for an unbeaten 19 and Callagan added: “We could have won the match and certainly should have got a draw, but Eastbourne are a pretty good outfit and I’m expecting them to be up there.”