Clanfield’s 1st XI won their fifth match in a row by 18 runs away to Purbrook’s 2nd XI at Purbrook Heath on Saturday to stay fourth in the league.

Batting first against a frugal bowling attack, Clanfield found runs hard to come by, losing both openers with the score on 36.

However a robust partnership between Alex Andrews (22) and Thomas Wright saw the runs come steadily before Wright was out, having hit an extremely fine 52, with the score on 116.

Further dependable performances from Rory Munro (25) and Khutub Malikoo (17) pushed the run rate along until Clanfield reached a total of 166 for five, including 22 extras, after their 40 overs.

Tight bowling from Clanfield openers Mickey Roussow and Malikoo saw the first wicket fall with the score on nine and caused difficulties for Purbrook’s opening three.

However no further breakthrough was made until the introduction of Ollie Sedgwick (two for 22) who took the next wicket on 68. Further fine spells of bowling from Matt Bradley and Martyn Crutchley continued to see runs restricted and wickets fall as Purbrook tried to push the run rate along.

With two wickets falling in quick succession, it was Crutchley (two for 17) who then made the key breakthrough, taking the wicket of James Iles when he was on 52, leaving the score on 92 for five. With a wicket each for Sean Swift and the returning Roussow, it was Bradley (two for 34) in his second spell who took the final two wickets to see Purbrook dismissed in the 39th over for 148.

Clanfield’s 2nd XI lost a rain-affected match at home to leaders Challengers Gosport 2nd XI at South Lane Meadow.

Challengers, mindful of batting bonus points, elected to bat first but found the going tough against the ever consistent bowling of Alex Graham, Rob Page and Andy Wellen.

They reached 64 for one in the 13th over before the heavens opened and halted play for 70 minutes. A clearing sky saw play resume and Clanfield contain the run rate with some tight and reliable fielding despite losing a player during the match.

While Challengers occasionally hit big, Roy Goulding continued his good form to take three wickets for 23 in his spell, supported by three wickets - including Challengers’ top two scorers - from Adam Smith. Kris Lane took the other three to see Challengers bowled out for 181, their lowest league score this season, and give Clanfield maximum bowling points.

Having lost the equivalent of 20 overs because of rain, Clanfield were set a target of 120 in 20 overs. Tight bowling and the damp conditions meant Clanfield did not really hit the run rate until the dismissal of Scott Richardson (18) and the arrival of Kieran Page with the score on 46. Despite some solid hitting from Kieran Page, who scored 22 off 18 balls and was supported by his father Rob Page (29), Clanfield only managed 77 for two, some 43 runs short of the target.