Nick’s career-best haul and some innovation keep Hill’s hopes alive

A magnificent spell of bowling by left arm spinner, Nick Brailey, set Burgess Hill 2nds on their way to a crucial seven-wicket win over Crawley Eagles and maintained a late surge for the Division 3 East title.

The win gained his side 30 points and moved them to within nine of leaders Ansty, with a game in hand.

Brailey bowled 16.4 unchanged overs, of guile and variation, to record career best figures of 8-64.

Aftab Baig with 73 was the mainstay of the Eagles innings, backed up by Shafid with 38. Eagles were 118-2 at one stage but some good catching and some lively fielding, backed up Brailey, instigated a collapse, the visitors finishing on 177 all out.

Captain Paul John went cheaply for Hill in pursuit of quick runs, as the weather closed in. The heavens opened with Hill 79-2, Grady Pummell having just been bowled for a breezy 32. But some innovative thinking as old plastic and the now defunct sight screens were used to cover the wicket and after a delay of an hour, the wicket was playable again.

Aaron Barnes smashed a superb 68 and it was left to the experienced heads of Adam Booth (55no) and Paul Elphick (16no) to complete victory.