Cuckfield back on top in big Mid Sussex battle for cricket second-tier title

Cuckfield CC are back on top of the Sussex League division two thanks to a thumping win at Findon.

On a very warm day, having lost the toss, Cuckfield were inserted.

Openers Joe Cambridge and Nipun Karunanayake started quickly in spite of an accurate opening spell from Harrison Grayson (0-51), both picking up runs either side of the wicket without taking many risks.

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With 10 overs gone and the Cuckfield score on 50, Findon turned to spin in an attempt to prise an opening.

It's tight at the top of Sussex League Division 2 but Cuckfield are in pole position heading into the next round of games

Initially this plan bore little aside from a marked increase in Cuckfield’s scoring rate, before Cambridge slogged Bradley Bridson’s leg spin (1-63) to Cameron Young at long-off to fall for 65.

Ollie Graham joined Nipun at the crease and both continued to score freely.

The pair manoeuvred the ball with ease while targeting the short boundary when the opportunity arose.

Nipun shifted through the gears to move from 50 to 100 at better than a run a ball, before he was caught in the deep for 120 off of Sam Dunkley (1-41).

With the score at 210, Cuckfield were after quick runs and Oscar Jago-Lewis and Graham delivered.

Two huge sixes from Jago-Lewis (21 not out) and a succession of boundaries from Graham (50 not out) saw Cuckfield declare on 265-2 off 45 overs.

Cuckfield entered the field with the sun now in full force.

Joe White began proceedings by snaking his first two balls past the outside edge of Bradley Bridson, who then chopped on to his stumps off the bowling of Josh Hayward in the second over for 1.

Alasdair Wilson joined Harry Metters at the crease and made his intentions clear from the outset with a few firmly struck boundaries off Hayward.

Metters (2) had looked relatively comfortable in his short stay, before White (1-15) slipped in a bouncer that was tamely pulled to Jago-Lewis at square leg to leave Findon 20-2 after 7 overs.

Wilson kept going, twice striking Hayward for 6, making the most of his good fortune having been dropped at slip on 20.

Findon took the score to 60 without further loss before a change of ends for Hayward catalysed a dramatic collapse for the home side.

Glenn Bridson (14) fell first, lbw to Hayward, followed swiftly by Johann de Jager (2) to an extraordinary catch at slip by Graham and quickly followed by Archie Cairns (0) who was adjudged lbw off the bowling of Patterson (1-27).

Wilson made his way to 50, before he too succumbed to Hayward’s left arm spin.

A procession of wickets then followed, including three in four balls for Hayward as Ben John completed a smart stumping and Harrison Grayston, having survived the hat trick ball, was bowled through the gate by one that spun sharply.

With only ten players batting, Hayward bowled the last man to finish with figures of 7-39.

Findon were all out for 86 after just 22.4 overs which takes Cuckfield back to the top of the table.

Burgess Hill v Haywards Heath - Division 2

Haywards Heath lost top spot in Sussex League division two as they were forced to hang for a draw against Burgess Hill at St John’s Park.

Hill elected to bat and Wajid Shah and Sam Remfry opened against Jemuel Cabey and Jethro Menzies.

Menzies saw Remfry dropped by the keeper but Remfry did then go when Menzies had him caught at second slip by Jonny Phelps.

PJ joined Shah took the score past 50 before Shah was trapped in front by Phelps.

Phelps got the prize wicket of PJ (21) then Nathan Cooper and home skipper Kev Ramsay looked to rebuild.

Left-arm spinner and debutant Tom Braggin bowled with good control. With the score on 108 Phelps struck as Cooper was judged LBW. Ramsay and Ben Remfry started to take the game to the Heath. Remfry went past 50.

On 197, Callum Smith had Ramsay (48) caught by Ben Matthew. Remfry holed out to Smith on 232, gone for a superb 87. The innings came to a close on 250-6 off 53 overs. Phelps finished with 3-83 and Smith 2-51.

Phelps and Menzies opened the reply but Phelps (19) played a poor shot off young Toby Munt. Ben Matthew was trapped in front by Dan Strange.

Menzies and Steve Goulds (1) fell and it was 97-4. Charlie MIsfud was caught by Luke Morris and Smith went after a solid 49.

Tashaffi Shams and Tom Upchurch tried to batten down the hatches but Shams was lbw to PJ. Cabey didn’t last long.

In the penultimate over Maskell cleaned up Upchurch – but Heath held on.

St. Peters v Lindfield - Division 2

Lindfield followed up an encouraging performance against St James's Montefiore with a stunning win on the road at St. Peters, bringing them closer to safety in the Division 2 relegation battle.

Winning the toss and electing to bat on a hot day in Brighton, the Swans got off to a steady opening with Max Kidman (22), Jayson Butler (23) and Harry Moorat (21) taking the score to 60-3.

James Aggio-Brewe and Simon Shivnarain pushed on as Lindfield reached 155-4 and looked well set for a 250+ total. However, Rohan Doyle and Varun Khullar took important wickets and a collapse ensued as the visitors meekly ran out of batsmen at 192.

Aggio-Brewe with 59 proved top scorer in a total that looked 40 short.

Lindfield's bowlers made light work of the home side's top order, reducing them to 31-3. However, Max Wheatley and Nimanda Madushanka repaired the innings with some really blistering strokeplay.

At 120-3 off 17 overs, St. Peters looked in the box seat, but the introduction of Farhad Reza's second spell saw a collapse of wickets which created panic in the home dressing room and eventually saw them fall 17 short.

Captain Aggio-Brewe said: “Farhad joining the team has given everyone a boost which has showed in our performances over the last couple of weeks.

"It's imperative we follow that up against Mayfield on Saturday and create some momentum."

Cuckfield 2nd v Middleton 2nd

Cuckfield were asked to bat and slipped to 38-2 having lost Will Rossiter (0) and George Galbraith-Gibbons (20).

Dom Sear (124) and Will Rogers (56) took Cuckfield up to 145 before Rogers became Matthew Reynolds’ (2-56) second victim. Veteran, Richie Amer (32) continued to score freely while Sear started to accelerate. Josh Downey (20) enabled Cuckfield to post 261-5.

Middleton started quickly, but Matt Slinger (3-32) and Greg Seed (3-31) put the brakes on. Sam Candfield (2-31) helped swing it in Cuckfield’s favour and Middleton were bowled out for 166.