Little Common Ramblers suffered in the sunshine at St Peters in Division 4 East on Saturday as they fell victim to a freak innings from home skipper Max Wheatley.
After losing the toss, it was no surprise that the Ramblers were asked to field first against the current league leaders. It could have been so different, but Wheatley was dropped on two in the third over. Morgan Potgieter took the first wicket in his opening spell when he trapped Mike Dawes (18) lbw.
Ramblers continued to work hard to keep the score down, but Wheatley was in the mood, and on a flat track with small boundaries was clearing the fence with ease as St Peters headed for a monster total. Wheatley was dropped once more on his way to 100, and would eventually make 227 before Tom Crathern caught him off the bowling of Potgieter.
St Peters ended 404-7, with four-wickets for Potgieter, and one a piece for Jon Meredith, Crathern and Alex Coombs.
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Ramblers set out to secure maximum batting points with such a huge total being out of reach from an early stage in the reply. Crathern and Joe Powell batted brilliantly in reply, surviving a fiery opening spell from the St Peters overseas Siddhesh Neral (0-29), and building towards the 210 required for max batting points.
Both players displayed exceptional grit and determination early on before going through the gears and playing some stunning shots on the way to 79 and 80 respectively.
Contributions from Potgieter (20) and George Crathern (11*) helped Ramblers finish on 224-6 at the end of the 45 overs, which although some way short of the target, left the visitors with a feeling of positivity at the end.
Ramblers are on the road again on Saturday as they travel to Keymer & Hassocks in what realistically is a must win fixture for Ramblers in the quest for survival.
Tom and George Crathern are both away, but Ramblers will welcome back Tom Powell and Mark Hopkinson.