A strong Cuckfield side came up against an equally skilled East Grinstead team at Cuckfield on Saturday.
EG won the toss and decided to bowl on a flat-looking deck - a decision that was perhaps influenced by the threat of rain later in the day. Openers Silk and Mitchinson found the going easy and the pitch true - bringing up a 50 partnership in no time. Silk in particular looked in great touch, with whispers of a double hundred slowly passing throughout the ground - his innings compiled with ease and grace, off both the front and back foot. However, a loose drive saw him fall, caught in the covers, for a near run-a-ball 57 with the score on 73.
Mitchinson, Mole and Gayler followed soon after to leave Cuckfield 100-4. However, Cuckfield’s middle order powerhouse of Weston, Campopiano and Candfield began to accumulate quickly, running brilliantly and dispatching anything lose. Weston fell for 56, well caught by Adkin - perhaps the only man that could have taken such a catch as he attempted to loft Stow over mid-on. It was the innings of Ben Candfield however, that truly swung that came into Cuckfield’s favour. Mixing clever running and raw power to finish up on 57. He put on 60 with Greg Wisdom, playing with ease and enterprise to bring Cuckfield’s score up to 259 before Cuckfield skipper Hayward declared with 3 overs remaining.
Following a sizeable rain delay, lost overs left EG needing 259 off 46 overs.
While seemingly a tall order, the home bowlers had to cope with a wet ball and a pitch that seemed to play even better following the downpour. Adkin fell early, dragging on without scoring to give Hutchins a first wicket. Evans and Derham put on 50 for the 2nd wicket, before Greg Wisdom removed Evans LBW. Derham followed soon after, caught mid off, again off Wisdom. This brought overseas Tim Cummins to the crease, who used raw power and a penchant for the cut shot to try and take the game away from Cuckfield- joined by Ollie Graham, they put on 100 in no time at all as Cuckfield’s usually economical bowlers struggled to maintain control of the game. With 22 overs to go, and over 140 needed, the introduction of captain Hayward looked to swing control of the game back to Cuckfield, his left arm spin proving extremely difficult to score off. However, Cummins accumulated singles, while launching an assault at the other end, striking a number of sixes into the pavilion.
However, Wisdom returned to the attack, bowling full and straight to see a flurry of wickets fall - Rebbetts and Davies went both looking to play big shots, before Hayward removed Sturmer. The big wicket of Cummins came as the increasing run rate meant he had to continue his assault, bowled by Wisdom for an 84 ball 109. Wisdom then removed another, leaving number 11 Max Stow 5 balls to bat out to secure the draw, despite the best efforts of Wisdom he survived. Wisdom finished with 7-84 off his 14 overs.
Cuckfield 2nd XI v East Grinstead 2nd XI
Cuckfield won the toss and elected to bowl first at the Saint Hill Ground.
It proved a good decision as wickets came quickly, Jack Best dismissing the first three batsmen in a 7 over spell of 3/19. EG skipper, Matt Heppell (35) and Andrew Medcalf (34) stabilised things, but the introduction of the evergreen Goff Baker to the bowling attack changed the course of the game as he dismissed both. Baker proceeded to steamroller through the rest of the middle and lower order taking 6/25 in his 13 overs, bowling EG out for 127 in the 38th over.
Only a wide ball was bowled in the Cuckfield innings before the heavens opened and the match was abandoned.
Cuckfield 3rd XI v Coleman’s Hatch 1st XI
At Colemns Hatch, the home side won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. This backfired somewhat as Jeremy Crampton (38) and Iain Pringle (76) got Cuckfield off to a cracking start with boundaries galore. Caleb Hawkins (55) and Piers Harrison (64) followed the openers’ lead and Dan Turner picked up where he left off last week with 31 not out as Cuckfield made 272 for 4 from 40 overs before rain intervened and the match was abandoned.
Cuckfield 4th XI v Smallfield Manor 1st XI
In the top of the table clash in MSCL Div 3 Cuckfield won the toss and put Smallfield into bat.
Guy Dixon took three quick wickets for Cuckfield, but David Bullen (30) and Dominic Glossop (30) steadied the innings. The breakthrough bowling of Chris Osborne and Tom Bonanate accounted for Bullen and Glossop respectively. Luke Blackburn (35*) anchored the remainder of the innings with wickets falling regularly as Smallfield completed their 47 overs on 148 for 9. Dixon took 3/36 and Rodney Candfield took 3/26.
After a rocky start, losing the skipper, Glenn Smith, for a duck, Cuckfield cruised to a nine wicket victory as Tom Wright and Tom Bonanate both finished the game on 64 not out.
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