A magnificent all-round performance from Paul Brookes earned Crowhurst Park Cricket Club a comprehensive away win on Saturday.
Brookes took seven wickets with the ball and scored 49 not out with the bat as Park triumphed by eight wickets against Crawley in Sussex Cricket League Division Three.
Park travelled to Crawley in the hope of replicating a win on their last visit to Southgate Park back in 2012, which gave them promotion to Division Two.
Away skipper Clive Tong lost the toss and was asked to bowl first. Park almost had a wicket in the second over when Brookes initially had Lewis Tomkins given out lbw, but on realising he had hit it, the skipper invoked the spirit of cricket and called the batsman back.
Crawley found the bowling of Tong and Brookes hard work, playing and missing at regular intervals. Tong bowled Tomkins in the seventh over and followed this up by dismissing Meredydd Haynes in the same fashion two overs later.
Brookes’ wicket haul quickly went from two to four as he snaffled in-form Indian overseas player Kunal Kapoor, caught one-handed by Fox Parker, and two balls later bowled Raz Hussain.
Matthew Leese and Warren Shulze put on 22 until Leese was caught and bowled (comically) by Brookes. Another mini partnership of 23 between Shulze and Harry Chaudhary ended when Ed Smissen caught Shulze (11) at first slip.
Chaudhary (32) took the long handle for a couple overs before holing out to Ben Phillimore, who held a crucial catch at point. A procession of wickets then fell to finish Crawley’s innings for 101 in just 31 overs.
Tong finished with 9.4-0-33-3 and a magical spell of bowling by Brookes left him with superb figures of 15-4-42-7.
Park had a tricky 15-over period to bat prior to tea and initially Crawley thought they were in the game as Matt Peters was trapped lbw in the first over.
The in-form Joel Bruun timed the ball sweetly until playing a shot early and being caught at mid-off. Brookes and Ben Phillimore steadied the ship to see Park through to tea at 31-2.
This partnership continued to the end, with Phillimore finishing on a well-played 37 not out and Claremont School man of the match Brookes following up his form with the ball by hitting an unbeaten 49 to see Park home for all 30 points.
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