Buxted Park dodge showers but not defeat - picture special
Buxted Park dodged rain showers, but failed to dodge another batting collapse as visitors Rottingdean won by four runs.
For the second week in a row, the prospect of any play for Buxted Park 1st XI looked very unlikely as rain was forecast all day. However, massive credit must go to the superb groundsman Mark Sheffield and his mobile covers which meant a 30-over game was agreed.
Winning the toss, Buxted elected to bowl first, a no brainer considering the overhead conditions. As always, the openers Isaac Heater (3/22) and Craig Olive (1/33) took early wickets and Rottingdean found themselves in massive trouble at 7-3. Patel and G. Ledden were able to prevent a very low score by guiding their team through to 68-4 when the ever-economical Nick Cockcroft (1-18) removed the former for 38. Bowling in tandem with Dominic Heater (1-19) the two spinners managed to squeeze the run rate and after another mini fightback, the visitors ended their innings on what should have been a modest 142 from their 30 overs.
It certainly seemed far under par, as the Buxted opening batsmen set about their work by crunching early boundaries off of the ‘Dean opening bowlers, with Buxted 1st XI debutant Chris James powering himself to a quickfire 34. His dismissal begun a decisive collapse for Buxted. In line with previous years, 48-0 rapidly became 61-5 with half of the top six failing to reach double figures. Redding Barnes (30*) and Will Rist (28) came together to steady the ship, before the latter fell with the score on 98.
At this point Buxted were behind the run rate and short of wickets left to chase down the remaining 40 runs. The tail tried its hardest to wag, but the work left behind by the recognised batsmen was too much for the rest to make up. Buxted scratched their way to 138 before losing their final wicket in the last over of the game, 4 gutting runs short. A very important lesson, hopefully learnt, early on in the season. If Buxted Park 1st XI wish to gain promotion this season, then batting collapses must not become a regular occurence as in previous seasons.
Report by Dom Heater