A thrilling last wicket stand between 14 year old Thanvi Choudhury and Will Spence saw Lindfield win their first league game of the season on a wet Common.
Lindfield CC 2nd XI 120 for 9 (44 overs) v St. James Montefiore 2nd XI 119 all out (45 overs): Lindfield win by 1 wicket
Bowling first, the hosts had the best of the conditions, as they made St. James fight for every run as the ball moved around from both ends.
Joe Pinard led the way with 2 for 18 and Scott Pedley chipped in with 1 for 22. Opener Josh Crowther kept the total ticking over with a well made 45 before holing out in the deep, off the bowling of stand-in skipper Nick Hopkins. With his dismissal, Lindfield took control as Will Spence (2 for 13) and Nathan Pugh (2 for 23) ended any resistance. Leg-spinner Choudhury finished with 1 for 20 as the visitors were bowled out in 45 overs for just 119.
In drying conditions, the chase was never going to be straightforward, but Lindfield made hard work of it. Opener Scott Clark made a useful 27 but struggled to find the boundary over the slow outfield.
When 15 year old debutant Danny Bulgin underestimated Clark's ability to run a quick one and failed to make his ground, the hosts found themselves 20 for 2. However, Peter Vinall batted positively and calmed the watching crowd with a well made 25, supported by Sussex age group star, Charlie Weir (15) as they took the score to 100 for 7.
In a game that still had a sting in its tail, two quick wickets left Lindfield needing 15 runs with only one wicket in hand. Spence joined Choudhury as they set about chipping away at the target. A boundary off a full toss by the number eleven relieved some of the tension, but it was Choudhury's ability in finding the ones and twos through a tight field that progressed the total. With an over to go, Choudhury hit the winning runs to see Lindfield over the line and out of the relegation spots. Josh Everett was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 30.
Skipper Hopkins said, "It was a strange game in which the conditions played their part, but we just about deserved our win. The maturity of the Academy players in the run chase was something we can all learn from. Both Charlie and Thanvi kept calm whilst the rest of us panicked under the pressure."
Horsted Keynes CC 1st XI 178 all out (42.3 overs) v Lindfield CC 3rd XI 181 all out (46.3 overs): Lindfield win by 3 runs
Arguably, Lindfield's 3rd eleven surpassed the exploits of the twos with a remarkable victory at the Crown Field in Horsted Keynes. Batting first, veteran Adrian Whear (63) and dasher Rob Minter (56) started positively as the visitors passed 100 just one wicket down. However, the middle order failed to capitalise as wickets fell regularly. Harvey James (3 for 54) and Peter Newson (2 for 32) did most of the damage, before Tom Black ( 3 for 18) finished off the innings. Only Phil Tolhurst pushed the total to 181 thanks to his well made 30.
In reply, Horsted Keynes struggled to get going as Ross Pedley chipped in with (2 for 26) supported by Murray Jardine (2 for 29). Brothers Patrick and Matthew Stedman ensured the middle order failed to dominate the game as they bowled miserly in the middle overs and taking three wickets between them. However, Harvey James pushed the Horsted Keynes innings on with a well made 68 supported by ex-Lindfield player Toby Smith (22). With the game reaching its climax, the hosts needed 22 off the last two overs. When Neil Pedley conceded 14 off the penultimate over, the home side looked favourites, however Jardine held his nerve and took the final wicket with three balls to spare.
Skipper Pedley said: "Take me out of the equation and the average age of our bowling attack was 14. To win a game against first team opposition with those lads doing most of the damage is very pleasing. The hardest part will be keeping their feet on the ground when we take on Hurstpierpoint next weekend."
Horsted Keynes wicket-keeper commented, "A terrific game today. The Lindfield youngsters had great attitude and cricket discipline, and are well looked after by the skipper and other senior players. A great example."