Cuckfield CC round-up: Gayler century ensures much-needed 30 points

Brad Gayler on his way to 126 against Ifield. Picture by David Reid
Brad Gayler on his way to 126 against Ifield. Picture by David Reid

Cuckfield banked a much needed 30 points on Saturday as they beat Ifield by 130 runs.

Stand-in skipper, Brad Gayler won the toss and elected to bat first at home.

Thoughts of a big score vanished as James Pearce ripped out the Cuckfield top order reducing Cuckfield to 37/3. This brought Gayler and the evergreen Jason Oates together who steadied the ship nicely playing watchfully and punishing anything loose. At 106 a lapse in concentration saw Oates hit across the line, the catch well taken by Paul Clifford to give Harnoop Kalsi his first wicket.

Two more wickets, one for Dan Smith and another for Kalsi saw Cuckfield looking shaky again at 142 for 6. Gayler, however, now on 69, went on the offensive, dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground including a huge six over the pavilion. He was finally caught off the bowling of Kalsi for a run-a-ball 126 which included 15 fours and 4 sixes. Already looking a lot healthier, the scoreboard was boosted by a late flurry of runs courtesy of a run-a-ball 41 not from Nick Patterson, allowing Cuckfield to declare one over early with 273 for 9. Pearce took 3/53 and Kalsi 4/77.

In the mirror image, three early wickets, two for Phil Semmens and one for Jamey Hutchings blunted the Ifield reply, leaving them 28/3. In spite of 29 from Mike Norris and 33 from Ifield captain Jack Groves, the unstoppable Nick Patterson was unplayable as be took 5 for 31 to bowl Ifield out for 143 in the 37th over. Semmens took 3/27.

Cuckfield 2nd XI v St Peter’s 1st XI: Cuckfield lost by five wickets at the Preston Park Velodrome on Saturday.

Cuckfield skipper, Chris Taylor, won the toss and elected to bat first. Having lost an early wicket George Galbraith-Gibbons (15) and Harry Clark (35) put on 50 for the second wicket. From 61 for 2, wickets fell regularly as only Taylor (25) made it into the twenties. Cuckfield were bowled out for 159 on the 46th over. Zakhele Qwabe took 3/48 and Wazir Khan took 3/34 for St Peters.

The St Peters reply faltered as Joe White had opener Richard Tongue caught behind with the score on 11. Danny Andrews (39) joined Greg Lee (45) and the pair put on 84 for the second wicket. 94 for 2 quickly became 94 for 4, but James Hope (33*) and Qwabe (31*) completed the win for St Peters in the 39th over. There were two wickets each for Ed Catt and Joe Cambridge.

Cuckfield 3rd XI v Portslade 2nd XI: Cuckfield drew with Portslade at the BACA ground, unable to take the last crucial wicket.

Cuckfield made 223 for 4 declaring after 45 overs. Billy Harris hit 36 and Under 15, Nathan Buckeridge (76) looked set for his maiden league hundred until he was struck by a drive at the non-strikers end and had to retire hurt. Jack Waghorn made 28 and Charlie Best 26 not out. Liam Jenman took 2/29 for Portslade.

At 50 without loss in reply, things were going well for the home side. That is until Tim Power started taking wickets, including both openers. 50 for none quickly became 90 for 6 as Power picked up a 5fer. Portslade number 5, Ian Morely (74*) batted through to the end taking his team to 180 for 9 after 45 overs. Power took 5/33 and Slinger took 2/45.

Cuckfield 4th XI v Ansty 3rd XI: Cuckfield secured victory in the penultimate over of the match to beat Ansty by five wickets.

Cuckfield won the toss and elected to bowl first. George Martin (26) provided the anchor as three early wickets fell. Rory Beard (28) and Aidan Gooding (33) provided some impetus in the middle order, but the visitors were bowled out in the 41st over for 183. Rodney Candfield took 3/28 and Dom and Greg Seed took two wickets a piece.

Adam Butler made early inroads in the Cuckfield reply, taking three quick wickets. Opener Tom Wright (52) joined by Jeremy Crampton (25) stemmed the flow of wickets for a time before both were dismissed by Harvey Towler.

This brought together James Buckeridge and Dom Seed and the pair played watchfully, keeping the score ticking over and punishing anything loose. It was the perfect blend of youth and experience as Seed (43*) and Buckeridge (35*) steered the home side to victory with nine balls to spare.

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