Rye Cricket Club’s first team increased its lead at the top of the table despite having to settle for a frustrating draw.
Rye were just two wickets away from victory, having scored 89 more runs than visitors Buxted Park, but took 13 more points than their opponents in a Sussex Cricket League Division Four East top-of-the-table clash.
A third of the way through the season, still unbeaten Rye are 25 points clear of new second place occupants Rottingdean and a further three ahead of Buxted.
In a match sponsored by My Sweet Old Etcetera, Rye captain Harry Smeed lost the toss and was asked to bat. James Hamilton (44) and Fin Thomson (6) put on 26 for the opening wicket before George Wathen (37) and Hamilton took the score along to 89-2.
Concepts of Rye man of the match Smeed then came in and smashed a magnificent 100. Along with Dan Seabrook (20 not out), Smeed had put Rye in a strong position at 228-5 declared.
Rye knew they had set a difficult target and it was now all about taking 10 wickets. They got off to a perfect start with Cleon Reece landing two quick blows to leave Buxted 27-2.
Smeed (3-37) then ripped through the middle order to make it 93-5. Buxted’s overseas player Darren Colaco compiled a well-made 60 until he was brilliantly run out by Ollie Rhys Jones.
Rye felt that the winning line was in sight at 128-7 and then Reece picked up a wicket with his first ball after being reintroduced to leave Buxted 133-8.
Rye threw everything at Buxted in the final eight overs, but could not find the two remaining wickets they needed for a fifth league victory of the season. They will travel to Mayfield seconds this coming Saturday.
Standings (all played 6 matches): 1 RYE 140pts, 2 Rottingdean 115, 3 Buxted Park 112, 4 Cuckfield II 108, 5 St Peters 105, 6 Mayfield II 100, 7 CROWHURST PARK 99, 8 Bells Yew Green 99, 9 Glynde & Beddingham 85, 10 Hellingly 50.
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