Lindfield's poor run against their local rivals came to an end after a convincing win on The Common saw the home side achieve their first league victory of the season.
Fielding first, Lindfield had to be patient despite removing Ben Matthew cheaply. Max Barson (26) and Jonny Phelps (34) looked in charge early on, taking advantage of a fine wicket that provided pace for the bowlers, but true bounce for the batsmen. The introduction of the overseas star Apoorv Wankhade changed the dynamic of the innings, removing the Haywards Heath middle order with his intelligent medium pacers and taking 3 for 20.
After Ollie Bailey hadn't trouble the scorers, the visitors found themselves 83 for 4 and struggling to make any significant batting points. However, Callum Smith solidified the innings with a decent half century, and when Christ Blunt (29) joined him, Haywards Heath started to make some inroads.
The innings turned once more with some calamitous running, which saw three run-outs and reducing the visitors to 173 for 7. Only some wagging of the tail saw Haywards Heath manage to break the 200 mark as Tim Shipman and Charlie Rutter put on 49 runs to see the them to a healthy, if somewhat under par, 233 for 8.
In reply, Lindfield got off to the worst possible start. Charlie Weir and Max Kidman barely made it into double figures before Rutter had them both back in the pavilion as he took 2 for 38. To make matters worse, Toby Shepperson was seen off as he missed one that saw him out leg before without scoring. At 27 for 3, it was the visitors that were in control, but it brought the much anticipated Wankhade to the crease for his first knock on The Common. His well made 39 was a mix of powerful drives, pulls and cuts which made his dismissal all the more bizarre as he attempted to launch Smith over the pavilion. For many looking on, it would have appeared the end of the Lindfield chase, but captain Simon Shivnarain joined Tom Hinley to mount the fightback.
In a stand that showed determination and skill, the pair took full advantage of the beautiful batting conditions taking the much vaunted overseas pro Van Rensburg for eight an over, and milking the spinners when necessary. The substantial age gap between the two batsmen was greater than Donald and Melania Trump, but it didn't stop them running quick singles and pushing the scoreboard along. It was only when Shivnarain was deemed lbw to Bailey for 55 that the partnership ended on 128. This sparked a mini collapse as Hinley was bowled for a terrific 93, but eventually the hosts got across the line seven wickets down and with five overs to spare.
Shivnarain said: "Finally we have put together a decent batting display which saw us beat a bit of a bogey side for us. It was a monster performance from my lads, following the last week's munching around the outfield at Bognor. The pressure doesn't stop as next week we take on Burgess Hill in a long awaited derby which both teams will be looking forward to."