Rye’s cricketers returned to winning ways in Sussex Cricket League Division Four after back-to-back defeats.
A half-century from James Hamilton and Kshemal Waingankar’s six wickets were the highlights of a 104-run victory away to Hellingly on Saturday.
With second-placed Slinfold losing to leaders Mayfield, fourth-placed Rye are 25 points outside the two promotion places at the midway stage of the season.
Rye won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked like a pitch that would deteriorate. Hamilton got off to a flying start by hitting a half-century from just 39 balls in an opening partnership of 64 with Dan Seabrook.
Hamilton was finally dismissed for a well-made 56, mistiming a pull stroke off the bowling of Greg Devlin, but Mark Cook and Seabrook put on a further 50 for the second wicket, leaving Rye in a strong position at the midway point of the innings.
As has been the case all too often this season, however, a procession of wickets followed. Seabrook fell for 35 to Bob Pye (3-68) and Cook was run out for a patient 13.
At 120-3 Rye were still confident of making a sound score, but Gavin Sutherland exposed the brittle nature of the middle order by picking up 4-31 to leave the visitors reeling at 152-9.
At this stage Rye were thinking a score of 170 would be a significant achievement, but number 11 Craig Pierce and skipper Gary Willis compiled an excellent partnership of 55, taking Rye past 200 and earning them full batting points. Pierce ended up 29 not out and Willis eventually fell for a career best 42.
After what can only be described as an outstanding tea, Rye took to the field attempting to defend 207.
Although Hellingly got off to a strong start, once Steve Hook was removed by Waingankar for 27, a procession of wickets followed with Hellingly never looking close to being in the game.
Waingankar showed his class during an excellent spell of 6-43 from 13 overs, ably supported by Pierce with 3-32 from eight. Both bowlers were well supported by some excellent catching with Rye holding on to some sharp chances to dismiss Hellingly for 103 from just 26.1 overs.
Waingankar, incidentally, is the leading wicket-taker in the entire league with 44 victims at an average of 9.80.
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