Brilliant Brookes hits 50
Paul Brookes brought up a half-century of league wickets for the season in Crowhurst Park’s final game defeat on Saturday.
Having fallen agonisingly short with 49 last year, Park captain Brookes claimed seven Lindfield scalps to make it 52 for the summer in Sussex Cricket League Division Two.
He got off to the perfect start by taking a wicket in the first over of the game having lost the toss and been asked to field first. Brookes continued to bowl a superb spell, while fellow opening bowler Brad Payne toiled away at the other end with little luck.
Brookes picked up the first three wickets to leave Lindfield 55-3 and was helped out by Dale Payne trapping former Sussex player Michael Rippon LBW for a useful 35.
Brookes was in touching distance of the milestone when a stunning catch at gully by Laurence Coleman put an end to a frustrating 40-run partnership and when he clean bowled Shane Wilson-Yelverton (27) with a peach of a delivery, the celebrations could begin - a superb feat warmly applauded by the spectators.
Lindfield then fought back when the aggressive pairing of James Aggio-Brewe (28) and skipper James Pearce (61) put on 46 off just five overs, but Brookes came back to finish off the innings with two wickets in successive balls.
Brookes finished with fantastic figures of 7-63, the third occasion this season he had taken seven wickets in an innings. Lindfield had recovered from 107-7 to 220 all out.
The target was certainly achievable on a good wicket. Losing a wicket in the first over again put the team under pressure, but Dale Payne and Coleman put on a solid 36 partnership for the second wicket.
Payne (40) continued to score freely with Jon Peters (11) providing good support and they consolidated the innings with a useful 45-run partnership before both fell to spinner Steve Pearce, leaving Park 88-4.
Top run scorer Clive Tong (15) took a liking to Rippon until being caught off his glove. Park then lost two wickets in an over to Rippon and were in trouble once more at 107-6.
When Kellen Powell (11) - playing his final game for the club having spent the last two years as its overseas player - was bowled by a Rippon ball which kept low and Matt Peters (15) was run out, Park were facing defeat.
Brookes and Fox Parker at least ensured batting points were secured for the first time in five innings, but Park were soon all out for 143. Park finished eighth in the league and reached the last 16 of the Davidstow Village Cup.