Kiwi Test star, Jeet Raval, opened his league account with 149 for Cuckfield as they beat Ansty by 116 runs in the most local of local derbies.
Ansty made the 0.9 mile journey to Cuckfield for the opening game of the SPCL season and the first of the limited overs games. Cuckfield captain Josh Hayward won the toss and elected to bat first on a fine looking playing surface.
Jeet Raval and Joe Ludlow opened up for Cuckfield and began cautiously, batting out a maiden from Jake Wilson and Jethro Menzies. But the control was short lived from the bowling side as Raval quickly grew accustomed to the pace of the pitch, the scoring rate accelerated rapidly with both batsmen taking advantage of the fielding restrictions with some big hitting and working quick singles. The first wicket partnership of 126 was brought to a close as Ludow was out lbw to Jack Palser for a well made 37.
The platform had been set, however, and Harry Clark quickly found his feet and began to match the scoring rate of Raval. The pair became a destructive force that the Ansty bowlers seemed unable to stop, putting on 155 runs before Sam Palser came into the attack and had Raval caught behind. His innings of 149 from 126 balls including 25 fours and 1 six was a masterclass in clinical batting. Undeterred, Clark continued to take the bowling on, smashing it to all parts, but miscued a Sam Palser delivery to be caught for 83 from 72 balls. Sam Palser picked up three more wickets as Cuckfield looked to push the score on, finishing the innings with 5/61. Cuckfield finished their 50 overs with 340 for 7, but 12 penalty runs were added to the score for a slow over rate, meaning Ansty would need 353 to win.
A run-rate of 7 an over from the get-go was always going to be a tall order. Ansty skipper Harry Towler and Jon Parker set about the task, but found the going tough against the swing and pace of James Thorpe and Jamie Hutchings. With the required run rate creeping up, Ansty looked to target 225 and maximum batting points from a defeat. A well made 57 from Jonny Young and a lusty 57 from Jamie Newsome (from 36 balls) saw Ansty end their 50 overs with 236/8. James Thorpe took 2/21 and Greg Wisdom 2/24 for Cuckfield.
Cuckfield travel to Horsham next week.
Cuckfield 2nd XI v Buxted Park 1st XI
New Cuckfield 2s captain Matt Wynn lived up to his name at Buxted as the visiting side won by 68 runs. In the new mixed league, Cuckfield were the only 2nd XI to turn over a 1st XI side.
Buxted won the toss and put Cuckfield into bat on a pitch which offered some assistance to the bowlers. The Cuckfield batsmen found it hard going, but 21 from James Mitchinson, a sublime 44 from Jack Bowman and 23 from Joe White saw Cuckfield bowled out for a respectable 168 in the 43rd over. A contribution of 40 extras was also a welcome boost. For Buxted there were 2 wickets each for Will Sheffield, Ryan Banham, Finley Coddington and Craig Olive.
Joe White and Matt Denyer opened the bowling for Cuckfield, dismissing the top 5 batsmen in short order to leave Buxted in serious trouble on 19 for 5. A middle order partnership of 53 from Finley Coddington (13) and Gareth Clift (31) stemmed the flow of wickets for a while, but Buxted were bowled out for 95 (including 33 extras) in the 29th over. White bowled 7 overs 3/33, Denyer 7 overs 2/11 and Chris Taylor 2.3 overs 3/6.
Cuckfield host Rottingdean next week.
Cuckfield 3rd XI v Poynings 1st XI
Cuckfield 3s opening game of the season ended in a draw as Poynings batted out having inserted the hosts.
Having lost Will Rossiter very early in the game for a duck, Cuckfield's Tom Morrissey (70) and Ben Caidan (51) stabilised the innings. The introduction of the evergreen Ben Toogood (6/55) to the attack saw wickets fall regularly, but late order resistance from Sam Candfield (17) and Chris Osborne (47*) helped Cuckfield to 220 for 9 from their 47 overs.
Tom Brookes (38) and Gary Wallis-Tayler (68) looked assured having lost Will Brookes early for 4, but after they were dismissed only Joe Cutress (28*) made double figures as Poynings settled to bat out for a draw. Matt Slinger took 3/56 and Goff Baker 3/17 for Cuckfield.
Cuckfield 4th XI v Copthorne 1st XI
Having been asked to bat first, Cuckfield made 182 all out in the 43rd over. Contributions of 36 from Tom Wright, 37 from Tom Bonanate, 41 from Jeremy Crampton and a quickfire 20 from Keith Rogers. For Copthorne Shaun Ormanroyd took 5/67 and Paul Smart 3/69.
Copthorne lost early wickets to the bowling of Tom Bonanate (4/65), but a fast paced 84 from Anand Sawant set up the win as they reached their target in the 29th over losing 6 wickets.