The away dressing at Clair Park was a bleak place on Saturday evening, after some strong home truths were discussed among the Lindfield 1st XI, following a pitiful display against Haywards Heath.
Chief amid the debate, was the inability of the away side’s batting line up to post a competitive total, having got themselves into a reasonable position in the game. At 80 odd for 3, and Callum Parker looking set, they were well placed to kick on, but failed to deliver in favourable conditions. Time and again batsmen struggled to apply themselves, as all of them found a way to reward the opposition.
Captain Simon Shivnarain holed out in the deep, Adam Wright was bowled whilst trying to hit the ball into the playground, and Scott Pedley ran himself out having failed to notice three fielders converging on the ball.
Among the carnage, Parker continued to drive with conviction accumulating most of his runs through the arc between mid on and extra cover. It is to his credit that he kept his head whilst the rest of the order surrendered meekly around him. With overs running out, he amassed his unbeaten 95 with some expansive shots down the ground, and deft reverses through the vacated slip cordon, which saw the visitors eventually reach 182 for 9. It looked about 40 below par.
If the batting display was disappointing, the bowling and fielding efforts reached new lows. With last week’s hero Shohel Ahmed and Pedley opening up, they both consistently bowled too short, ensuring the spinners were on after just five overs. Johnny Phelps was the main punisher of the Lindfield attack, hitting the ball with power to all parts of the Clair Park ground - not a difficult task given the inconsistent nature of the bowling.
The visitors could find no answer to his game, as he amassed his score at a run a ball and inevitably brought up his hundred without due concern. His efforts allowed the home side to pass the target just two wickets down and with plenty of time to spare. It was no surprise, given Lindfield showed little appetite for the battle in the field.
It was left for the team to pick over their efforts in the away dressing that evening, secure in the knowledge that even Devon Loch couldn’t have blown the occasion more than they did.
Lindfield CC 2nd XI v Portslade CC 2nd: If Lindfield’s 1st XI showed no fight for a much awaited local derby, their second string failed to muster a killer instinct against an average Portslade side under a cloudy sky on the Common.
Fielding first, the home side had the visitors stuttering to 101 for 8 as Phil Weir and Luke Sowton took three wickets a piece, with only Tony Downs (30) showing any resistance. However the tail wagged when Sam Gander and Todd Tucker put on 34 for the last wicket to take the score to 169 all out.
Lindfield looked well placed as Scott Clark (44) and Thanvi Choudhury (21) put on 70 for the first wicket, but the introduction of Scott Ridge changed the game. His 3 for 40 caused panic in the ranks from which Lindfield couldn’t recover. When Phil Weir went for 20, and Matt O’Brien holed out in the deep trying to impress his entourage, so did any hopes of victory and the Swans subsided to a 13 run defeat.
Staplefield CC 1st XI v Lindfield CC 3rd XI: Lindfield’s third string couldn’t make full use of a good bowling display at Staplefield having dismissed the home side for 149. Redwan Chowdhury took 4 for 20 and Rodney Mariappan 3 for 15 as Rizlan Razzak anchored the innings with a well compiled 45.
For once, the big guns of the Swans failed as Phil Tolhurst and Adrian Whear went cheaply, however Tory and Brexiteer William Light (24) and Chowdhury (21) showed some resistance. Their efforts were in vain though as Razzak capped a fine display with 6 for 18 as the visitors surrendered for just 89.
Lindfield CC 4th XI v Balcombe CC 3rd XI: The veteran Page brothers rolled back the years in this high scoring draw at Great Walstead School when Malcolm (52) and Graham (75) put on nearly 100 runs for the second wicket. Their stand helped the home side to 221 for 4 in 47 overs as another old timer, Ian Jackson helped himself to an unbeaten 31.
In reply, Balcombe neither looked like reaching the target or losing their wickets in defeat, as only Nigel Cannon (3 for 18) appeared threatening. Dave Pratt top scored with 65.