Dias returns but Rye’s lead is cut

Sandun Dias bowling for Rye against Buxted Park
Sandun Dias bowling for Rye against Buxted Park

Rye Cricket Club’s 260th season has certainly been eventful and the last three weeks of the campaign promise to provide plenty more exciting moments.

The events began prior to Saturday’s home fixture against Buxted Park, sponsored by The Gandhi Tandoori, as a text was received from overseas player Sandun Dias that he was returning for the last four games.

Dias had headed back to his homeland to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League, but the competition had been reduced to only four teams,therefore releasing him from his contract.

Dias arrived back in Rye on Saturday to take over the reins of captaincy again, and for 37 overs Rye played the same consistent tight cricket in the field they have done all season.

Craig Pierce and Dias bowled tightly to restrict the Buxted batsmen, while Martin Blincow struck four times to reduce the visitors to 107-6. It was from this point that the game slipped from Rye’s grasp, quite literally, as Buxted skipper Rob Raymond was dropped four times.

Raymond (69 not out) and Colin Coddington (24) seized the initiativeby adding 74 runs in just 10 overs as Buxted finished on 199-7 off 50 overs. Dias, Pierce and Jo Lovell claimed a wicket apiece.

Rye’s reply began positively as James Hamilton and Dan Seabrook added 37 in just 11 overs, but it was then that mother nature intervened as heavy rain fell and on the hard track provided the greasy conditions that Buxted bowler Craig Olive thrives on.

Suddenly the complexion of the game changed as Olive found a length that the Rye batsmen had no answer to. Supported at the other end by Coddington, the Rye batsmen came and went.

Dias fell to a tame pull shot, Hamilton made 57 to receive the Gandhi Tandoori man of the match award and Alfie Weller resisted with 25, but the real spice on show was provided by Olive, who bagged 8-64 off 15.4 overs as Rye were all out for 128.

Rye’s lead at the top of East Sussex Cricket League Division One wascut to 36 points as chasing Newick won away to Ringmer.