Haywards Heath skipper Smith leads the way in win over Bognor

Newly-promoted Haywards Heath started their Division 2 campaign with a strong all-round performance at home to Bognor.

Heath celebrate the wicket of Ryan Maskell. Picture by Steve Robards
Heath celebrate the wicket of Ryan Maskell. Picture by Steve Robards

The visitors won the toss and made a good start with the ball as Richard Cox had Chris Blunt caught behind in just the third over.

Overseas debutant Alastair Templeton joined Jonny Phelps and the pair took the score passed 50 before Templeton, who had looked assured in first innings on English soil, was adjudged lbw off the bowling of Charlie Laforet.

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Phelps looked untroubled by the Bognor attack and scored freely throughout his innings of 60. In partnership with Callum Smith Heath had built a strong foundation before Phelps fell victim to the most unfortunate of dismissals, run out at the non-strikers end when a Smith drive touched the fingertips of bowler Joel Baker.

Heath celebrate the wicket of Ryan Maskell. Picture by Steve Robards

The wickets of Max Barson, Ollie Bailey, Dan Woodfield and Ed Long then fell in relatively quick succession to leave the home side reeling at 137-7 with more than 20 overs left to bat. Fortunately for Heath, Smith was going nicely and with the field pushed back he continued to rotate the strike well, which soon proved to be all he needed to do thanks to an explosive performance from Steve Goulds. In what proved to be a match-winning partnership of 90, Goulds struck four towering sixes on his way to a quick-fire 50 that propelled Heath passed the 200 mark.

Smith reached his own half-century as he and the remaining batsmen pushed the score on to 248, Heath finally all-out on the penultimate ball of the innings.

In reply, player-coach Max Barson took the new ball in his first game for Heath, but it was spinner Phelps who took the prize wicket of Ryan Maskell in just the second over of the innings.Barson bowled with good pace and control during his six over spell and was rewarded with the wicket of Tom Woolnough. Tim Upchurch then bowled number four Josh Seward for 15. After a fightback led by Joel Baker, Smith brought himself into the attack and had an instant impact, soon finding himself on a hat-trick after taking the wickets of Taylor Jaycocks and Mark Woolnough.Shortly afterwards a sharp run out by Barson meant Bognor were a long way from victory and when Smith removed the in batsmen Baker for a very well made 76 the Bognor chase was all but over. It was Smith who wrapped up the game and capped off a fantastic all-round performance to finish with figures of 5 for 18 from 5.1 overs. Bognor 183 all out.