Cuckfield beaten by champions Roffey in league opener but seconds and thirds pick up wins
Cuckfield CC’s start to the Premier Division season took place away from home against Roffey CC on a day affected by rain, and Roffey looking to avenge their T20 Cup defeat a week earlier.
A delayed start meant both teams were restricted to 29 overs before Roffey won the toss chose to bat first.
A compact start by Cuckfield’s opening bowlers limited runs early on, but some positive striking from Usman Khan (60) gave the hosts a good base once the new ball started to wear.
Despite being hit for some huge hits into the surrounding gardens, Cuckfield stayed composed and started to pick up wickets consistently through the innings with Nick Patterson (3-26) and Josh Hayward (1-21) being the standout pair.
Roffey finished on 202-9 with Khan ably supported by skipper Matt Davies (26).
Cuckfield went into bat with a run rate of just under seven required.
A poor shot from Joe Cambridge (11) gave the hosts the breakthrough whilst Joe Ludlow (33) took a stand in the middle as wickets started to fall around him.
Cuckfield’s batsmen weren’t able to build a strong enough partnership in the middle overs due to poor running and ambitious shot choices.
This inevitably drew the game to a close after 22.4 overs in the second innings with Cuckfield being bowled out for 79. Luke Barnard (3-17) and Harnoop Kalsi (3-19), the pick of the bowlers.
The Mid-Sussex derby awaits Cuckfield next week as they host local rivals Haywards Heath CC.
CUCKFIELD CC 2ND XI
Cuckfield CC 2nd XI began the new season, in a new division, at home against Ram CC who had been promoted into Division 4 West alongside them in 2019.
The morning rain forced the start time back by one hour and therefore reduced the match to 41 overs per side.
Captain George Galbraith-Gibbons won the toss and elected to field in overcast conditions. This looked to be a good toss to win as Chris Osborne and Theo Barker were dangerous with the new ball.
This translated to wickets as Ram were reduced to 34-4 despite a good start by Bunty Suthar (20).
After the wicket of Suthar, more wickets fell regularly which stopped the flow of runs for Ram and at 67-9 they were struggling. Though, an important 17 from Darpan Amin made sure that Ram’s total of 81 all out was a little more respectable.
Osborne was the pick of the bowlers (5-27) with Barker (2-29) and Greg Seed (2-6) supporting alongside Chris Taylor’s run out.
Cuckfield went into the run chase looking to knock the runs off steadily without losing too many wickets.
The first over proved that this would be no ordinary run chase. With 13 wides, two fours and a wicket all occurring in the first over Cuckfield were 21-1 with George Galbraith-Gibbons (eight) the outgoing batsman.
When Ben Caidan (duck) fell to leave Cuckfield 21-2, the game was interestingly poised. However, an important 26-run partnership between Will Rossiter (14) and Dom Sear (eight) steadied the ship and looked to put Cuckfield on the home straight to victory.
Although, it was not that simple as three quick wickets meant Cuckfield were suddenly 52-5. Another important partnership between Chris Taylor (seven*) and Will Galbraith-Gibbons (11) took Cuckfield to within seven runs from victory.
Another twist occurred as Galbraith-Gibbons fell victim to Suthar (4-37), the pick of the Ram bowlers, but Osborne (eight*) came in and knocked off the winning runs with ease to give Cuckfield victory.
Cuckfield 2nd XI travel to Chichester Priory Park CC 2nd XI this Saturday,
CUCKFIELD CC 3RD XI
On a very blustery day, where all bowlers struggled with their run ups, Horsted Keynes CC inserted hosts Cuckfield CC 3rd XI in this Division 7 Central clash.
Good bowling by the opening pair of Harvey James (2-31) and Steve Hitchen (1-28) on a slightly sticky pitch restricted Cuckfield and made runs hard to get.
The first wicket fell at 48, Sam Hardwicke for a stylish 26, and first change Peter Newsome (2-29) kept things equally as tight as the home team struggled to 92-4 in the 24th over.
Thereafter a combination of some typically robust hitting from Tommy Watson (28 including one enormous six), excellent running from Jack Best (15) and Sam Shepherd (24) and a flurry from the tail took Cuckfield to 220-9 with Chris Rampling taking 3-49. Wides, unsurprisingly given the conditions, top scored.
In Horsted’s reply, Rodney Candfield, in taking 1-13 in seven overs, opened the bowling with archetypal economy and threat.
Despite this, good batting from Ben Humphreys-Davies (26) and Alex Waters (44) allowed the away side to keep up with the run rate and at drinks the match was evenly poised.
Their dismissals brought the big hitting James (13), who hit a huge six second ball off the unfortunate Goff Baker, and Giles Emmerson (24) together.
With ten overs to go, the game had perhaps swung in Horsted’s favour but the culmination of Best’s (2-38) excellent spell, the return of Shepherd (4-45) to the attack and the veteran Baker (3-43) prompted a collapse and Cuckfield ran out winners by 38 runs. Again, wides made a significant contribution.
Cuckfield 3rd XI travel to Southwick this Saturday.