Cuckfield shock league leaders to record first league win

Cuckfield CC entertained top-of-the-table Eastbourne CC on Saturday in the Premier Division as they looked to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat of the season.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 8:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 8:56 am
Nipun Karunanayake celebrates his 100 in Cuckfield CC's shock win over Eastbourne CC. Picture courtesy of Cuckfield Cricket Club

With Eastbourne winning the toss and electing to field on a pitch that looked as though it would offer some gentle encouragement for the bowlers, stand-in skipper Joe Ludlow walked out to bat with usual partner Joe Cambridge.

A liberal first over meant Cuckfield raced to 17 before Cambridge's run of low scores continued, caught at slip for six off the bowling of Ben Twine (2-52).

Nipun Karunanayake came out and began to watchfully accumulate alongside the more attacking Ludlow; the two mixed clever running with some impressively clinical hitting.

Ludlow (53) brought up a deserved 50, before chipping Pocklington to mid-on. Ollie Graham replaced him and he too scored quickly, again running extremely well.

Nipun reached his 50 at the other end and began to up his scoring rate significantly - the two taking the score to 231 before Graham (50) became Twine’s second victim.

Karunanayake (110) quickly brought up his maiden Cuckfield ton and looked set to really hurt the Eastbourne attack before he was bowled by Lenham (2-60) attempting to slog sweep.

Jimmy Anyon (28) and Harry Clark (22*) kept the momentum going, pushing the Cuckfield score up towards 300 before Anyon holed out off the last ball of the innings with Cuckfield posting 296 of their 50 overs.

Cuckfield were relatively happy at the interval, but with a strong Eastbourne batting line up and a drying pitch to contend with, they knew they had their work cut out.

Led by Anyon (2-30), the Cuckfield attack quickly set about constricting Eastbourne. Wickets were hard to come by in the early stages of their innings, but the introduction of left-arm seamer Will Rogers (3-47) saw Scott Lenham's (32) off stump pegged back, before Anyon trapped Jacob Smith (31) lbw, turning 69-0 into 71-2.

Oli Carter (12) followed soon after to give Anyon a second wicket, leaving Twine and Malcolm Johnson (70) the unenviable task of keeping up with the ever-increasing rate.

They kept Eastbourne in the game, if only just, but Twine holed out off veteran Nick Patterson (2-51) and from then on Eastbourne struggled.

Johnson followed soon after, bowled by Rogers enabling Cuckfield to restrict Eastbourne to 258 from their 50 to complete a well-deserved victory.

Cuckfield will take a lot of confidence from this result, which moves them out of the relegation zone, as they travel to East Grinstead CC next week for the first red ball game of the season.

CUCKFIELD CC 2ND XI

Cuckfield CC 2nd XI arrived at Horsham Trinity CC in Division 4 West looking to continue a winning streak, with Trinity winning the toss and electing to bat on a hot, sunny day.

Jack Gold (16) and Louie Donnelly (52) opened up but found themselves facing in-form Chris Osbourne (2-23) who removed both Gold and Ben Chappels (four) to leave Trinity 40-2.

Donnelly and Elliott Stanbridge (42) rebuilt Trinity’s innings taking the score to 129-2 before miscommunication saw Donnelly heading back to the pavilion having been run out.

From there, wickets fell steadily, despite some lusty blows from Leon Donnelly (38) with Matt Slinger taking 5-50 to restrict Trinity to 217-8 from their 45 overs.

Cuckfield felt confident of chasing the target on a small ground but found themselves in trouble at 38-4, with Gold (2-38) and Leon Donnelly (2-33) doing the damage.

Enter Chris Taylor (36) and Tommy Watson (91). Measured from one end, power hitting from the other saw Cuckfield race to 157-5 with Watson scoring his 91 off of 39 balls (including 10 sixes).

Watson’s ability to clear the ropes, allied with Taylor’s accumulation of runs put Cuckfield in a winning position.

That job was left to Greg Wisdom (17*) and Will Galbraith-Gibbons (19*) to see Cuckfield home with 12 overs to spare.

Another great win sees Cuckfield 2nd XI undefeated this season.

CUCKFIELD CC 3RD XI

On a lovely day down at Sussex University, Cuckfield CC 3rd XI faced up to St Matthias CC in Division 7 Central.

Cuckfield bowled first with Josh Downey (0-16) and Jack Best (2-32) making early inroads.

Steady partnerships from Louis Grahame (35), Jack Allen (34), Mark Uren (33) and Alex Coghlin (32) threatened to take the game away from Cuckfield.

However, every time a partnership started to build, Cuckfield managed to drag it back through wickets for Jamie Hatt (3-47), Rodney Candfield (2-18), Sammy Hart (1-11) and Sam Hardwicke (1-25).

Cuckfield were moderately pleased with restricting St Matthias to only 200 in 40 overs.

The Cuckfield reply started slowly with some good opening bowling from Sam Figg (2-17) and Alamgir Khan (1-13). A rebuilding act by Jeremy Crampton (45*) and Jack Best (17) was promising for Cuckfield.

The fall of Best to Reuben Grahame (2-20) was promptly followed by a mini-collapse for Cuckfield, halted only by Adam Jull (20) and the ever-present Crampton.

When Jull was bowled by Jack Allen (2-14), the remainder of the Cuckfield batsmen offered little to stand in the way of a St Matthias victory with Cuckfield being bowled out for 110 in 32.2 overs.

CUCKFIELD CC 4TH XI

Cuckfield CC 4th XI welcomed Felbridge & Sunnyside CC 3rd XI in Division 11 Central (North). The hosts, including five players from the academy, won the toss and elected to field.

Felbridge got off to a steady start before the opening partnership was broken by a direct hit run-out by Ellis Buckeridge to remove Rowan Greenwood (eight).

The Felbridge run rate was slowed by some tight bowling in the middle overs through Bryce Van Straaten (1-20) and Tim Power (0-19).

Academy players Adam Hatt (2-34) and Matthew Power (1-24) bowled well and could have taken more wickets if further chances were held in the field.

Opener John Connelly played very well to carry his bat for 96* with captain James Green chipping in with 29 in a total of 172-6 off 40 overs.

Cuckfield should have been chasing a lot less had they held onto their chances. That said, the Cuckfield innings never got started and collapsed against some excellent and accurate bowling.

Cuckfield lost eight wickets bowled and two wickets lbw. Only Richard Loveridge (16) and Sam Shepherd (10) made double figures.

James Green (5-19) and Robin Wandrag (3-15) shared the wickets which led to Cuckfield being comprehensively beaten by 129 runs.