Big win closes gap at the top

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After consecutive draws in the past couple of weeks the first eleven were looking to get back to winning ways against bottom side Lewes Priory to keep the pressure on Buxted Park at the top of the table.

The team consisting of three pairs of brothers with Doyle’s, Coomber’s and Wheatley’s making up six of the eleven. Duncan won the toss again and this time decided upon a change of tact from previous weeks opting to bat first on a typical looking Preston Park wicket.

It was important for the top order batsman to provide a response after not doing so well over the last couple of weeks and they get off to a very watchful start, but losing James for 8 wasn’t the start that they were hoping for. That bought Alex to the crease and it was at the point the scoreboard started moving as he punished anything too full with a flurry of drives and flicks and it wasn’t too long before the opening bowlers had been seen off and he got to his half century. It took Bryan a bit longer to get into any sort of rhythm but once the opening bowlers had come off things became a lot easier. The pair ran hard with fielders being posted on the boundary early on, turning ones into twos and twos into threes where possible and once the opening bowlers had come off it was a case of making hay and not giving it away. Both knocks were far from chanceless but they kept going and both reached three figures and put on a 248 for the second wicket partnership enabling Duncan to declare with the score on 256 for 1 off of 40 overs. Both batsmen ending up on 120 not out, Alex with 13 fours and 3 sixes and Bryan 16 fours and 1 six – the six coming from a helping hand of the fielder at long on who took the catch but stepped over the boundary.

After an enjoyable tea (a special mention to Rachel and Mark for getting everything ready for me!), the small matter of ten wickets were required to ensure the full 30 points. The opening batsmen look reasonably comfortable against the new ball and it took a flamboyant one handed catch by James at gully to dismiss their skipper off Alex before he struck again to remove the other opener. It was by no means one way traffic and St Peter’s had to work hard for all of their wickets as the Lewes batsmen provided some stubborn resistance. Duncan changed his bowlers up and kept attacking fields throughout the innings as the wickets were shared around. Cameron, returning from university, bowled with good flight and pace to end up with three wickets and his brother Rohan chipped in with an important early breakthrough as he so often does in his first spell before coming back and taking two wickets in two balls before having an LBW appeal turned down on the hat trick ball! Alex ended up with 2 wickets to add to his earlier runs, Marv and Ben both sharing one apiece. There was also some good catching with the Coomber brothers both taking two each and Duncan taking a sharp chance at short backward square leg off Rohan. Priory were eventually dismissed for 135 off of 34.3 overs and 30 points were secured.

Whilst there will be much sterner tests ahead it was still pleasing to win so comfortably, and a very enjoyable evening in the clubhouse followed with a good crowd there celebrating all four teams victories across the club.