Lindfield’s shaky start to the season continued with a sound beating on a glorious batting track at Three Bridges this weekend.
Batting first, the hosts took advantage of the fine conditions despite Scott Pedley (2 for 44) getting amongst the wickets early. Overseas player David Winn stood head and shoulders above all others with a fine knock of 114 that anchored the Three Bridges total, with Matt Blandford (32 not out) supporting him at the end of the innings. On a quick outfield, the home side reached a daunting 265 for 6 off their 45 overs. Lindfield’s Shohel Ahmed finished with 3 for 57.
Another failure for Harry Chaudhary at the top of the order saw the Lindfield response start badly, however youngsters Nathan Pugh (59) and Charle Weir (36) made good progress for the second wicket. Unfortunately a difficult spell between the drinks breaks slowed the scoring rate and the visitors struggled to maintain the pressure. When wickets began to fall regularly, the required rate soared to 10 an over, and the chase effectively stalled leaving the visitors to crawl to 195 all out. The pick of the bowlers, Michael Rose, finished with 3 for 37.
Lindfield captain Simon Shivnarain commented, “We’re competing for 70% of games but not seeing it through. At this level that is not enough, and something we have to look at.”
Lindfield CC 2nd XI v Burgess Hill CC 2nd XI: A sun drenched Lindfield Common was the venue for the long-awaited return of local rivals Burgess Hill, in a much anticipated Mid-Sussex derby. However, the idyllic vista turned into a nightmare for the hosts as the visiting captain Matt Charmer turned the tide on the Swans with a fine all-round display.
Batting first, Lindfield progressed to 80 for 1 with Scott Clark (33) and Nick Hopkins (37) setting up the innings in fine style. However, the introduction of Charman into the attack rocked the Lindfield ship and when Hopkins walked past one to get stumped, panic set into the crew.
With the off-spinner bowling a tight line, the home batsmen struggled to get him away, and some rash shots saw them fleeing back to the pavilion like an emergency lifeboat drill. Charman’s devastating spell of 6 for 14 effectively flooded the engine room and left Lindfield aimlessly bobbing around, akin to a rudderless cruise liner fighting against the tide.
A few lusty blows from Redwan Choudhury at the end of the innings, saw the hosts set a total of 144, but in truth it always looked at least 30 runs short.
In reply, Lindfield started their voyage well, with Choudhury getting a wicket with his first ball, but the celebrations wouldn’t last. Hillian overseas player Akeem Ifill stroked the ball to all parts, as he went after the home side’s attack, being particularly ruthless through extra cover. His 79 proved the difference, shining like a lighthouse in a gloomy Atlantic seascape, as no other batsmen reached his standards. Wickets at the other end saw Charman return to the fold and smooth any choppy waters, when Ifill was finally caught on the boundary. After such an influence on the game, it was inevitable the Burgess Hill captain would score the winning runs, which he duly did, as they cruised to the target with a dozen overs to spare.
Commenting after the game Charman noted, “It’s great to be back at Lindfield after a few years away. I’d forgotten how picturesque it is to play here. To be at the helm of this ship when we won was a thrill. In fact, it’s up there with one of the great days in my life......and I’ve had children.”
Turners Hill CC 2nd XI v Lindfield CC 3rd XI: Lindfield’s third string lost a tight game at Turners Hill after posting a competitive 121 on an awful wicket which regularly saw the ball scuttle along the ground toward unsuspecting batsmen. Adrian Whear top scored with 43 supported by the ever dependable Phil Tolhurst (20) but the hosts’ Peter Falconer did most of the damage taking 5 for 12.
In return, Turners Hill similarly struggled with the conditions losing wickets on a regular basis. Callum Brooks (2 for 18) Ross Pedley (2 for 17) and Jack Flower (1 for 12) shared the breakthroughs and restricted the home side to 83 for 8. However a last wicket stand of 39 between Falconer (24 not out) and Eliot Law (14 not out) saw hosts over the line despite some close lbw appeals.
Lindfield 4th XI v Brunswick Village CC 1st XI: Lindfield’s 4th XI made it a clean sweep of defeats for the club when they were well beaten by Brunswick Village at Hickman’s Lane. The home side’s total of 127 included an astonishing 52 extras as batsmen struggled to make double figures.
Brunswick had no such problems and cruised to the target thanks to James Hyde’s unbeaten 71, just 3 wickets down.