Haywards Heath prove too strong for Brighton 2nd XI

Heath skipper Callum Smith
Heath skipper Callum Smith

Under blue skies at Clair Park Heath won the toss and batted first for the fifth straight game this season.

Openers Phelps and Blunt laid a solid platform on a good pitch, with Phelps punishing anything over-pitched on his way to 45 from 40 balls.

Both batsmen were positive against the spin of change bowler Mates, and only when the Brighton skipper took himself out of the attack did the breakthrough come; Phelps top edging a pull off Hardwick. Blunt (29) was then caught behind by keeper Ford – a sharp catch stood up to the stumps – to leave Heath 116 for 2, but Heath captain Smith had started his innings positively and kept the momentum up.

Smith put on 30 with number four Long (19), and another 50 with Bailey to push the score on to 200. Bailey was busy throughout his innings and along with Smith rotated the strike well, but both batsmen had struggled to find the boundary during a tight spell of bowling from youngster Sheppard.

As Heath entered the closing overs Bailey looked to hit-out against Mates and was caught in the deep for 25. Smith registered his first 50 of the season and continued to find gaps with the field set deep as Heath pushed the score up to 241 for 9 by the end of the 45 – Smith was dismissed on the last ball for a well-constructed 70.

Brighton’s run chase got off to a poor start from which they were never able to recover.

O’Keeffe had Martyn Ford caught by Smith at first slip, before Everett dismissed Curtis Ford and George Naish to leave the visitors 33-3. Brighton number three Williamson launched a counter attack toward the end of the powerplay and found the boundary eight times in a quick-fire 45 but when he was bowled by Smith any chance of a contest was finished.

The spin of Smith, Phelps and Bailey did for the remainder of the Brighton batting line up as they picked up seven wickets between them.

Number seven Matthew Smith and Sheppard put on 45 for the 9th wicket to earn a few extra batting points for Brighton before Bailey and Smith wrapped up the innings. Smith was a clear man of the match for his 70 and 3 for 17.