Cuckfield draw a blank despite Kesh’s farewell gifts

It was a blank weekend for Cuckfield although Saturday’s draw at Hastings was down to the weather.

On Sunday a weakened team bowed out of the Gray Nicolls 20/20 Cup at the semi final stage in what was Keshav Maharaj’s last game before returning home to South Africa.

He earned a call to attend a national spinners camp in India and had to return to Johannesburg for a fitness assessment and training.

League 1st XI skipper James Robinson said: “It’s a great shame to lose him at this point in the season as he has been an integral part of our team. But obviously this is a great opportunity for him and we wish him all the best as he continues to pursue his career as a professional cricketer.

“We are currently exploring options for a replacement but clearly it is awkward timing and may not prove possible.”

On Sunday he gave his team-mates something to remember him by, top scoring with 45 as Cuckfield were bowled out for 125 with two balls remaining at the Saffrons.

Eastbourne’s Mark Tomsett then ensured there were no mishaps as he carried his bat for 77 to complete a seven-wicket win in the 18th over.

The previous day Cuckfield’s overseas star shone with the ball as he took 4-71 in 20 overs as Harry Finch (124) swept Hastings to a formidable 270-6 after 55 overs.

Cuckfield openers Ollie Altendorf (70) and Greg Wisdom (31) then put on 95 as the visitors reached 120-2 in the 35th over before the rain intervened.

Maharaj will miss Cuckfield’s last five league games.

The only game to finish in the top division was at East Grinstead where the hosts made 241-7 before bowling out basement club Worthing for 182.

In Division 2 St James’s were 112-5 chasing a Middleton total of 200-7 when the game was abandoned. Patrick Colvin made an unbeaten 85 for the visitors.