The cracks in Roffey’s bowling appear in a tough weekend

Roffey's bowling is having to rely heavily on the likes of Rohit Jagota, predominantly a batsman. Photo by Derek Martin
Roffey's bowling is having to rely heavily on the likes of Rohit Jagota, predominantly a batsman. Photo by Derek Martin

Roffey 1st team captain Josh Fleming admits he has real concerns over the side’s bowling options following the weekend’s disappointing double-header.

Roffey were left to cling on to their final wicket to secure draws in both league matches at Cuckfield on Saturday and at home on Sunday against the Sussex Development XI.

Claiming only 11 points from a possible 60 over a weekend Fleming had identified as ‘massive’ saw the side drop into the bottom two in the early Premier Division standings and the skipper acknowledged: “It wasn’t a very good weekend for us.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about bowling. We’ve lost our whole attack from last season (Abdul Khan has joined Crawley Eagles) and players are carrying injuries so we are really struggling.”

Playing at this season’s surprise package Cuckfield on the Saturday the hosts won a “crucial toss” and chose to bat first. On a dry Cuckfield pitch they batted sensibly to make 206-7 from their 58 overs, opener James Thorpe with a measured 74 and Tom Mole unbeaten on 49.

Roffey’s slower bowlers again took the wickets, George Fleming with 3-53, Rohit Jagota with 2-36 and Matt Davies 2-40.

The visitors were making a decent fist of their reply at 74-2, but on a turning wicket Cuckfield’s South African spinner Keshav Maharaj used the conditions well to take 4-40. Mike Norris top scored with 31 but when the ninth wicket fell it was left to Matt Varner and Alex Collins to see out the final 30 balls to secure the draw as Roffey finished on 138-9 from their 52 overs.

The following day Roffey were “outplayed” at home by a talented young Development side, Josh Fleming said.

This time Fleming did win the toss, and having put the visitors into bat they hit a daunting total of 283-5, the biggest on that wicket so far this season.

Oliver Graham made an unbeaten 109 after being dropped around the 20s, and his century stand with Horsham’s Ben Shoare (58) provided the foundations to a big score. Lucas Barker added 35 and Tim Moses 33 not out.

The hosts went after their massive total positively, Craig Williams with 28, George Fleming with 24 and Chris Webb with a top score of 67. But four wickets from Moses again saw them holding onto their last wicket, Varner again with some rearguard action, this time with Dan Smith. Fleming said: “We were just outplayed on Sunday, the better side had the better of the game. We have to accept our bowling is light and just try to bowl and field tight and rely on our batting.”