Rye Cricket Club’s first team was in dominant form at The Salts on Saturday.
Harry Smeed produced another stand-out performance as Rye triumphed by five wickets in a Sussex Cricket League Division Four match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera.
Rye skipper Gary Willis lost the toss and Southwater elected to bat first on a wicket which looked very flat and good for batting, despite the heavy rain of the previous day.
Rye struck early, dismissing both openers quickly to leave Southwater 12-2. Willis (1-21) and Craig Pierce (1-7) were the successful bowlers.
Johann Brouwer and Jay Patel shared a third wicket partnership of 72, constructed in a turgid fashion as they grafted hard against the miserly Rye bowling attack. Patel (24) eventually fell to the bowling of George Wathen (1-36) to leave Southwater 84-3.
Brouwer went on to pass fifty and forged a further partnership of 35 with Matt De La Pole in what was shaping up to be an excellent innings from the South African.
Brouwer (76) eventually fell, however, to a superb catch on the boundary by Mickey Toomey off the bowling of Smeed. This dismissal proved to be the hammer blow for Southwater as they then succumbed to a cataclysmic collapse inspired by some excellent Rye bowling and distinctly average batting.
From 119-4 Southwater crumbled to 129 all out inside 48 overs. Smeed continued his purple patch, picking up 5-31 from 15 overs, ably supported by spin twin Fin Thomson, who picked up 2-21 at the opposite end.
On such a good wicket, 129 was never likely to prove enough given the strength of the Rye batting line-up. Rye lost James Hamilton (11) early, though, playing a loose shot to the bowling of James Skett (1-13).
Dan Seabrook set about establishing a partnership with overseas player Hugo Nel, taking the score to 56 before the former fell to the bowling of Paul Tillier (2-14) to leave the score 56-2.
That then became 60-3 as Nel fell to the same bowler for a well-made 24. Wathen was removed for a duck just a run later and Rye were concerned that a collapse was on the cards.
Young guns Smeed (38 not out) and Thomson (32) settled the ship to take Rye within touching distance of the finish line before Thomson fell with the score on 128, to the bowling of Alex Harding (1-22).
Fittingly, Smeed then struck the winning runs as Rye picked up a full 30 points in their second victory of the season.
The win has moved Rye up to seventh in the table and they appear to be hitting a run of form. They will travel to second-placed Glynde & Beddingham this coming Saturday in the hope of picking up another 30 points.
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