Heath knocked off the top by Ghauri's century

Tim Upchurch batting against Bridges
Tim Upchurch batting against Bridges

Haywards Heath were toppled from the top of the Division 2 table after defeat to promtion rivals Three Bridges.

With one point separating the teams before the day, top spot would go to whoever came out on top.

Heath skipper Callum Smith won the toss and decided to bat first on what looked like a very flat pitch.

The Heath openers Jonny Phelps and Alastair Templeton played well against the opening bowling pair of Matt Blandford and Conor Golding and took the score to 50 for 0.

It was Regan Derham who got the break through, expertly running Phelps out for 33 with a direct hit.

Bridges then turned the screw with Ollie Blandford and Mike Rose claiming two wickets each to leave Heath 70-4.

Chris Blunt during his unbeaten 31

Chris Blunt during his unbeaten 31

Arran Brown then dismissed skipper Smith to get his first 1st team league wicket.

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At 108-7 Heath then found an important partnership between Chris Blunt and Ben Matthew.

They added a patient 60 to the total before Golding came back to get the last three wickets and leave Heath 170 all out off 50 overs.

A score that was well below par on a flat wicket. Golding finished with 3-33, Ollie Blandford 2-28 and Rose 3-38.

New Bridges opening pair of Walid Ghauri and Ollie Blandford set about the chase and from early on looked complete control.

Ghauri dismantled the Heath attack sending them to all parts, reaching his 50 off just eight overs.

With the score on 93 Blandford fell lbw to Ollie Bailey, but with two near 100 partnership up top in two weeks Bridges seem to have found a pairing that is working.

Ghauri kept his foot on the gas and whilst battling cramp to reach his 100.

Derham, David Winn and Golding all fell cheaply which left Joe Walker to partner Ghauri to the win.

Ghauri finished 117 not out, an innings that took the chase by the scruff of the neck.

Mayfield’s win over Lindfield meant that Bridges are now top of Division 2, by 14 points with Mayfield in second, seven points clear of Heath in third.

There’s a 16-point gap between them and Billingshurst in fourth.

On Saturday Haywards Heath travel to Bognor Regis while Three Bridges go to Billingshurst and Mayfield face Bexhill.

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