Crowhurst Park’s cricketers picked up their first home win of the season with a comprehensive victory over Crawley on Saturday.
A strong team showing from all involved clinched a 144-run success over bottom-of-the-table opposition and moved Park back up to sixth in Sussex Cricket League Division Three.
On one of the nicest days this season, Park won the toss for the first time in a number of weeks and choose to have a bat on a good wicket.
Park lost Ben Phillimore (6) with the score just eight, but Joel Bruun and Dale Payne put the hosts on top by scoring quickly and confidently.
Crawley got back in the game by removing Payne (30) and Bruun (43), both of whom batted well, in quick succession as 78-1 became 85-3.
Joe Lovell and Ed Smissen looked to steady Park again and continued to push the score along until Farhan Mirza (10-3-47-3), who bowled a tidy spell, got Lovell (12) to edge behind, making it 119-4.
The next couple of partnerships put Park in the driving seat at 175-6. Smissen went on to make 26 and skipper Clive Tong a quick 34 from 32 balls.
A late flurry from the Park batsmen saw them finish their 53 overs on 232-7 - their highest score of the season. Paul Brookes made a super 34 not out at the end, supported by Jon Peters (10) and Fox Parker (13 not out).
After a strong batting display, Park felt confident going into the second innings after tea. They knew that quick wickets were needed to put them in a position to take the win and that’s exactly what they did.
Harry Chaudhary (10) had his middle stump removed by Brookes attempting a large swipe to the leg-side. Tong bowled tightly at the other end and got his reward with the crucial wicket of Kunal Kapoor (6), who was brilliantly caught by the diving Bruun at short cover, reducing Crawley to 27-2.
Brookes and Tong continued to bowl well, and the Crawley batsmen didn’t have much of an answer. Brookes returned another set of great figures with 14-4-42-4, matched by Tong with 13-4-25-4.
Crawley were severely on the back foot at 62-8 off just 22 overs, and the Park fielders supported the bowling with great catches by Smissen, Parker and Matt Peters.
The tale end proved difficult to remove with Zohaib Kashif (14) and Nadeem Najabat (10) looking to tick overs on and block out the bowling of Brookes and Tong. Payne (2-0-11-2) came on and went through the Crawley tale, leaving the visitors all out for 88 in just 30 overs.
Park will look to use this momentum going into the home fixture against third-placed Portslade this coming Saturday.
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