Rye reduce rivals to 9-5 en route to first win of term

Tobias Farrow was Rye Cricket Club's Concepts of Rye man of the match in the victory against Preston Nomads seconds
Tobias Farrow was Rye Cricket Club's Concepts of Rye man of the match in the victory against Preston Nomads seconds

Rye Cricket Club’s first team reduced its opponents to 9-5 en route to its first league win of the season.

Rye triumphed by five wickets at home to Preston Nomads seconds in a 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera.

The covers went on and off on at least four occasions, but due to a wonderful bowling display from Rye, a result was reached.

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Rye skipper Harry Smeed lost the toss and was asked to bowl, which seemed an odd choice considering the rain that had fallen and with more forecast.

Rye got off to a perfect start with Altaf Ahmed striking in the first over to remove Abdul Shafi, who was fresh off a hundred the previous weekend.

What followed can only be described as carnage, with Concepts man of the match Tobias Farrow (3-21) joining in with the wicket-taking. Farrow and Ahmed (4-21) reduced Nomads to 9-5 in a quite extraordinary passage of play.

The introduction of Craig Pierce led to another wicket, and with Harry and James Smeed picking up a wicket each, Nomads were all out for a below par 75. The only resistance came from Adam O’Brien (22).

Rye got off to a decent start in reply, reaching 15-0, but the Nomads spinners were introduced and bowled superbly to reduce Rye to 22-4.

This sent nerves flying around the batting group, but Harry Smeed and Luke Payton steadied the ship until Payton was caught for 10 to leave Rye 40-5. Ahmed (6 not out) and Smeed (21 not out) steered the side home to complete a five-wicket win.

Rye seconds, meanwhile, contested a thrilling tied game away to St Peters seconds in Division Six East.

St Peters batted first after winning the toss and Rye made early inroads with the returning Billy Blackford (2-23) taking two wickets in two balls. Gary Willis took 2-53 to leave St Peters wobbling at 65-4.

The weather then intervened. A very heavy shower caused the ball to become the proverbial ball of soap.

Martin Blincow kept things tight with 0-25 off eight overs, but Richard Tongue (73) and Harry Craker (67) shared a 130-run stand. St Peters threatened to run away, but Mark Cook took 4-37 at the death to put a brake on their progress as they reached tea at 236-8 off 40 overs.

Rye lost Rowan Sharkey early on in their reply to a wonderful one-handed catch, but John Mackenzie (67) and Cook (56) built a positive response.

Rye then benefited from a heavy shower. Although Mackenzie fell, Scott Balcomb took up the challenge and struck five mighty sixes to put Rye in the hunt.

Balcomb fell to a catch on the boundary when Rye needed 30 with four overs left. Sixteen-year-old Freddie Mackenzie (16 not out) played good, positive strokes and Rye scrambled two precious runs off the last ball to tie the game at 236-7.