14 year old Tom Hinley pushed his claim for inclusion in the Lindfield 1st XI for first league game of the season with a strong display in the T20 cup double-header on the Common.
Lindfield 1st XI 169 for 4 (20 overs) v Steyning 1st XI 136 for 5 (20 overs): Lindfield win by 34 runs and Lindfield 1st XI 96 all out (19.3 overs) v Three Bridges 1st XI 100 for 8 (19.2 overs): Three Bridges win by 2 wickets
In round one, the hosts took on Steyning CC from Division 4 of the Sussex County League who were asked to field first. Gareth Court got off to a productive start hitting with power through the cover point region, whilst debutant Harry Chaudhary (17) favoured down the ground. With the scoring rate hovering around eight runs an over Court went onto 62 ably supported by the young Hinley who was unbeaten on 31 as Lindfield amassed 196 for 4.
A bright start by Christopher Barnett (20) and Johnny Burfiend (17) was the closest the visitors ever really got to claiming an upset, as the introduction of the off-spin of Chaudhary (3 for 6) effectively changed the game. David Kennett momentarily held up the hosts with an unbeaten 53, but as the required run rate increased, wickets fell and Lindfield eventually ran out comfortable winners.
In the second fixture, Lindfield took on a much stronger Three Bridges side, in a low scoring but tense affair. Batting firs,t the hosts struggled against the bowling of Oliver Blandford who took 4 for 14 in his 3.3 overs, including the important wicket of overseas pro Tem Hodson. However Hinley continued where he left off from the first game, with a mature and impressive 34, to give the innings some much needed impetus.
Despite the good batting conditions, Three Bridges struggled to dominate with the bat as predicted, as Shohel Ahmed chipped in with 2 for 16. Another three wickets from Chaudhary sent panic through the visitors' ranks despite Joe Walker's decent 26. At 56 for 7 Lindfield looked favourites, but with the required run rate never going above five, Three Bridges only needed a steady hand to force the win. In the end they got two, with Matt Blandford and Ian Church both scoring unbeaten 13s to get them across the line with 4 balls to spare.
Lindfield's 1st XI league captain Simon Shivnarain said, "It's been a real positive to see a member of our Academy score runs against some quality opposition, and I know of a few more who will be knocking on my door when they become available after school cricket has finished. It's a selection dilemma I like to have ahead of our first league game against newly promoted Portslade."
In the 2nd XI T20 cup, Lindfield were soundly beaten by a far stronger Horsham side which amassed 194 for 3. The visitors were bowled out 109 runs short.