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Middleton skipper Heather stars with the bat and ball to secure Bognor win

Middleton skipper Sean Heather produced a fine all-round display to propel his side to victory over Bognor in the first round of the Gray Nicolls T20 cup.

 

The 35-year-old all-rounder used his right arm medium pace to great effect to take four wickets and reduce Bognor to 131-8 in their allotted overs.

 

Then, opening the batting, Heather smashed a quick-fire half-century to guarantee his side reached the target with seven wickets left to take the spoils in the local derby.

 

It ensured Middleton picked up where they left off last season, a year which saw them promoted into the top flight of the Sussex League.

 

Bognor won the toss and hoped to make the most of home conditions at the Regis Oval.

 

They were boosted with four players making their competitive debuts, among them Marques Clarke from Barbados, who has joined as the club’s overseas player for the year.

 

Bognor got off to a good start, with captain Max Ashmore hitting 45 from 39 balls.

 

He received good support from Joe Ashmore (24) who was going well until he was run out by Matt Cooke.

 

But then Heather began to control things for Middleton and his spell of four wickets for just 24 runs in his allotted four overs meant that Bognor posted a tally of 131-8.

 

With the visitors needing just over six and a half runs an over, Heather was determined to give his side a good start.

 

He did so and more, carrying his bat through the innings to see his side home.

 

The former Sussex man scored 57 runs from 50 balls, which included two sixes.

 

But he did receive good support with Angus Robson (24 from 20 balls) and Will Burrows (33 from 30) adding contributions which saw Middleton reach the target with five balls to spare.

 

Middleton will hope to take that form into their first match in the Sussex Premier Division, taking on Bexhill at the Sports Ground.

 

Division Two Bognor will also be at home entertaining recently-relegated Billingshurst at The Regis Oval.

 

In Division Three, Chichester Priory Park play Roffey Seconds at Goodwood – their first competitive match at the ground – while Pagham travel to Brighton and Hove Seconds.

 

All games take place tomorrow from 12pm.

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