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Batting woes haunt Middleton

Middleton CC will be hoping to improve on their batting woes as the club’s difficult start to the Sussex Premier season continues.


Sean Heather’s side slumped to bottom of the table after being crushed by 147 runs at Brighton & Hove last weekend.


Next up for Middleton is a trip to Preston Nomads tomorrow (12pm), where the Sea Lane side hope that a match on one of the finest batting tracks in the county will trigger a revival in fortunes.


The struggle for runs is really hampering Middleton’s campaign so far. After four matches, they have collected just six batting points, the second lowest in the division after Nomads.


This poor form with the bat continued last weekend when, after restricting Brighton & Hove to 235 for 9 (Craig Fowle 3-26), Middleton could only amass 88 in reply.


Only four players reached double figures in the total with number nine Brandon Hanley top-scoring with 19.


The result puts Heather’s side bottom. But with just 13 points separating them and Eastbourne in fourth, Middleton know that a 30-point victory tomorrow could do wonders to their position.


In Division Two, Chichester Priory Park will be looking to win their first match in four when they welcome third-place Haywards Heath to Goodwood tomorrow (12.30pm).


Chi have fallen off the pace in recent weeks, with a 110-run loss to leaders Mayfield last weekend seeing them lose valuable ground on the leading pack.


After winning the toss and electing to field, skipper Matthew Geffen led from the front taking 3 for 26 in his nine overs. But a 92-run stand for the sixth wicket took the game away for Chi and saw Mayfield register 220-7 in their 45 overs.


In reply, Geffen’s team struggled to get to grips with the home side’s opening bowler Robert Sharma (6-40).


Only wicketkeeper Morgan Hopkins (33*) showed any real fight as Chi could only manage to reach 110 before being dismissed.


In Division Three West, Pagham will be looking to bounce back as they host bottom-of-the-table Slinfold.


Stuart Hanks’ side came up 51 runs short last weekend as they were trying to chase down Findon’s 264 for 9.


Rico Webb put in a fine all-round performance for Pagham, clubbing 79 off just 36 balls after taking 4-54 with the ball.


But his effort was in vain as the Nyetimber Lane side could only reach 213 all out.

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