This Saturday saw Haywards Heath triumph at the beautifully situated Mayfield and in doing so kept the pressure up on local rivals Burgess Hill at the top of Division 3.
The Heath breakthrough came soon enough though, as Everett set in motion the first of the wickets, which then fell pretty regularly thereafter as Everett finished his first spell with three wickets and the stalwart Chairman Matt Jones took over to take three doggedly worked wickets of his own, as Heath did well to make sure each new batsman didn’t get too settled at the crease, despite a little middle order familial resistance from Mayfield’s Jason and Edward Finch.
Spinners Jonny Phelps and Ollie Bailey also grabbed a wicket each meaning Heath kept the hosts’ score well under 200.
Haywards Heath prowess in the field was demonstrated paradigmatically by athletic all-rounder Tim Upchurch, who attacked the ball from deep mid on and had it in over the stumps and into the keeper’s gloves for a run out before the unfortunate batsmen James Allen knew what had happened. Mayfield finished on 165 all out.
After a spectacular tea break, Mayfield started their bowling session with a venomous attack on the Heath openers lead by Joshua Fidler and Robert Sharma, yielding an early dismissal for the ever-steadfast Chris Blunt as he unfortunately played on to a delivery outside off. Four runs later Isaac Leckie fell victim to the persistent bowling lines of Sharma. Consequently, Heath were 21-2 early on in the innings.
Powerful all-rounder Phelps came in at number three and managed to steady the ship before being given out LBW.
Nevertheless, Phelps departed with the score looking a little healthier as skipper Callum Smith took to the crease in what was to be the beginning of a strong captain’s innings. Some straight punching drives from Smith settled him in, and ended in a worthy 43.
Bailey then came in. The audacious batsmen was again keen to vocalize his game plan early on in the day, and as a man of his word, kept the promise to go hard and fast at the Mayfield bowling attack as he joined his captain in the middle and made his intentions very clear with a huge six straight back over the bowlers head.
The pair pushed the score on into a winning position before Smith got caught in a relatively soft dismissal, leaving newcomer Ed Long to polish off the last remaining runs with a strong combination of sharp singles, fluency, finesse and firmness with partner Bailey, seeing the away side to a comfortable win with the loss of only four wickets.
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