Nip and tuck at the top of Premier Division as Roffey keep in pole position

Cricket: Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup: Ansty (batting) v Roffey. Alex Collins (bowling). Pic Steve Robards SR1709153 SUS-170430-150333001
Cricket: Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup: Ansty (batting) v Roffey. Alex Collins (bowling). Pic Steve Robards SR1709153 SUS-170430-150333001

It remains nip and tuck at the top of the Premier Division as Roffey’s six-wicket success at Brighton & Hove kept them in the box seat on Saturday.

They lead second-placed East Grinstead by just one point - the same gap that has remained for three weeks.

The two sides have identical records after 11 games of won nine, lost one and had one cancelled match.

Roffey also lead third-placed Cuckfield by 42 points and have a 53-point cushion over Horsham.

Captain Matt Davies reported a ‘comfortable’ success on Saturday at The Nevill Sports Ground that saw them record maximum points.

Having won the toss, the reigning champions inserted their hosts and bowled them out for 144, just two balls before the end of the innings.

Captain Chris Grammer hit a top score of 30 from batting at seven in the face of some fierce bowling from the away side.

Alex Collins’ 4-22 from 10 overs proving key, ably assisted by Rohit Jagota’s 4-39 from 13.4 overs.

In reply, openers Theo Rivers (52) and Jagota (26) put Roffey in charge in a run chase that saw them home with 146-4 in 32.5 overs.

Davies was keen to bowl the hosts out for under 160 as he was wary of a ground that can sometimes be difficult to chase on.

He said: “It was pretty comfortable to be honest. I thought we bowled well up top and built the pressure.

“Collo (Collins) then came on and took four wickets. They were four crucial wickets which really broke the back of their innings.

“From there we tied them down and picked up regular wickets, we managed to bowl them out for 144, which is what we were aiming for.

“We said nothing over 160 as the wicket is never particularly easy to chase on down there. We did not want to be chasing much, so 144 was a decent target and thankfully it was pretty convincing in the chase.

“Batting wise, Theo got 50-odd and he and Rohit put on 63 for the first wicket, that killed the game and we were never really in any danger from there.”

Brighton were in trouble at 70-6 in their innings, before Grammer and Curtis Ford (18) added some late crucial runs.

But it was never going to be enough after Rivers and Jagota started well in reply.

Simon Hetherton (4-77) did have some luck in the Brighton attack, but Jibran Khan added 19, before Davies (17*) and Usman Khan (29*) got Roffey home.