Middleton CC’s quest for a top three finish in the Sussex Premier Division will see them face the ultimate test when they welcome champions-elect Roffey to Sea Lane tomorrow (11.30am).
With two games of the season to go, Sean Heather’s side are just nine points behind East Grinstead in third.
To break into the top three they will need to take points off a jubilant Roffey side who are unbeaten all season and last week wrapped up the 2019 title.
A positive result for Heather’s side will no doubt be reliant on the batting form of the skipper and overseas player Mahesh Rawat.
The pair have been in imperious form all season, sitting second and first respectively in the division batting averages.
Rawat, who is averaging more than 150 with the bat, needs only 80 runs from the last two matches to score 1,000 runs for the season – a remarkable feat for a batter who comes in at five in the line- up.
Both Heather and Rawat led the way with the bat once again last weekend as Middleton played out an entertaining tie against a rejuvenated Cuckfield side.
After being put into bat by the home side, Middleton’s opening pair of Heather and Harry Hovey (29) put on 66 for the opening wicket.
The skipper continued his fine form, eventually ending with 89 while Rawat hit an unbeaten 69 from just 50 balls to guide Middleton to a competitive score of 266 for six off their 50 overs.
In reply, Cuckfield got off to an excellent start as the visiting seamers could not break a century second-wicket stand by Joe Ludlow (61) and Joe Cambridge (78).
At 155-1, Middleton looked well and truly beaten. But they rallied with Matthew Reynolds (3-39) and Heather (3-75) pegging back the middle order.
It came down to a nail-biting final over with Cuckfield batter Marcus Campopiano (51) run out off the final ball with the scores level and ensuring both sides took 15 points from the game.