Routine win puts Rye seven points from summit

Rye all-rounder Harry Smeed had another good game in the victory over Lindfield II.
Rye all-rounder Harry Smeed had another good game in the victory over Lindfield II.
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Rye Cricket Club’s first team got back to winning ways with a six-wicket victory away to Lindfield seconds.

Rye skipper Gary Willis again lost the toss, but Lindfield surprisingly opted to bat first in this Sussex Cricket League Division Five East fixture and were all out for 180.

Lindfield got off to an incredibly slow start, reaching only 41-2 from the opening 20 overs. There was a wicket each for Sandun Dias and Craig Pierce, who conceded just 17 runs from a lengthy 14-over opening spell.

Harry Smeed was introduced and quickly ripped through the middle order with figures of 5-45. George Wathen (1-32) and Willis (1-22) were the other wicket-takers and a run out ended the Lindfield innings. Only Aryan Chaudhary (50) could put any pressure on Rye.

Rye’s formidable opening pair of Dias and Wathen then went about chasing the runs down, quickly forging another 50-run opening stand. Wathen played aggressively and raced to a well-made 71.

Smeed was again in the runs with a brisk 43 and although he fell with only six needed to win, Fin Thomson finished the game off with an unbeaten 27. Rye chased the runs down in only 23.4 overs for a comprehensive win.

Second-placed Rye are just seven points behind leaders Seaford heading into the final eight games of the season. In fact, the top eight teams are covered by only 37 points so it’s very much all to play for.

Incidentally, Dias is the division’s highest runscorer with 480 at an average of exactly 60, while Wathen is third with 378 and Smeed 10th with 306.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Rye will entertain sixth-placed Hellingly in a match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera, seeking revenge for defeat in the reverse fixture on the opening day. Play will start at 12.30pm.

Standings (all played 10 matches): 1st Seaford 225pts, 2nd RYE 218, 3rd Rottingdean 214, 4th Cuckfield II 202, 5th Buxted Park 197, 6th Hellingly 192, 7th CROWHURST PARK 191, 8th Glynde & Beddingham 188, 9th Lindfield II 75, 10th St James’s Montefiore II 65.