On-song Park get off to flying start

Crowhurst Park Cricket Club's first team lines up for the camera before its opening league game of 2017. Picture by Simon Newstead
Crowhurst Park Cricket Club's first team lines up for the camera before its opening league game of 2017. Picture by Simon Newstead
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Crowhurst Park Cricket Club’s first team got its league campaign off to a flying start at the Walcott Ground on Saturday.

Park recorded an emphatic 173-run victory at home to St James’s Montefiore II in the all-new Sussex Cricket League Division Five East.

With both teams looking to adapt to the newly-introduced limited overs format, Park lost the toss and were asked to bat first.

Joel Bruun and Martin Barry continued their impressive early season form, taking advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first 15 overs by putting on 100 in the first 10.

Barry was majestic on his return to Sussex League cricket and was ably supported by Aussie talent Bruun. Their impressive opening partnership came to end when Barry was trapped lbw for a superb 70 off only 47 balls with the score on 131 in just 15 overs.

Bruun carried on attacking and the score continued to accelerate before being caught off the bowling of Kevin Ticehurst for 80 off 58 deliveries, leaving him still looking for that elusive first hundred for the club.

At this point Park were looking at a total in excess of 300, but some useful bowling by St James, in particular from young Josh Everett (3-26), restricted the flow of runs with wickets falling at regular intervals.

Park skipper Mike Legg (37) was the next highest scorer, only falling to a superb running catch at deep midwicket, and the innings fell away slightly as Park were all out for 285 in 40.1 overs.

Despite posting their highest first innings score for many years, Park would have been slightly disappointed not to have really kicked on after their excellent start and it is a sign of the spirit in the team that they know they could have scored more runs as a team.

Having said that, it would still have taken a huge effort from St James to chase the target down. Park’s new ball pair of young Sam Hobbs and old stalwart Paul Brookes bowled a tight opening spell, and both picked up early wickets, with both St James openers back in the pavilion within 10 overs and just 26 on the board.

Park took wickets at regular intervals, backed up by a strong fielding performance which never really allowed the St James innings to get going.

Wickets were shared around the team, with Liam Maclean cleaning up the tail to finish with 3-20, and St James were bowled out for just 112.

A great start from the team and the club as a whole, with all four adult teams winning for the first time on the opening weekend of the season. Encouraging signs. Park are away to Seaford this coming Saturday.

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