Another beautiful day at Saint Hill brought about the newly promoted Haywards Heath to East Grinstead in two 2020 friendlies. East Grinstead won the toss and elected to bat, welcoming Will Adkin back into the side. He started off excellently with5 quick boundaries before being caught at mid on for a quick fire 24 off just 15 balls. Haynes wasn’t able to emulate his form of last week being caught at deep square for a duck. Grinstead responded well with Grham finding some ford hitting Menzies for a beautiful six down the ground. However, Sturmer was bowled by Phelps leaving Grinstead 52-3. Rebbetts and Graham steadied the ship but struggled to find the boundaries they needed on what was again an excellent batting pitch. Rebbetts was out for 11 before Graham departed for an excellent 51. Pettman and Cave were able to provide some lower order resistance to take Grinstead to 131/8 off their 20 overs.
Grinstead started excellently in the field, with Hatchett coming back in for his first game of the year bowling as if he’d never been away. Pettman continued his excellent form from last week, picking up another early wicket to peg back HH. With HH on just 50 – 3 from the first 10 overs, Grinstead were looking favourites, but Sims and Chappels (two new recruits this season) began building a partnership. Grinstead’s new recruit Sam Rattle had another excellent game, picking up 3-19 in the middle overs. Chappels particularly impressed with his sweeping, scooping and reverse sweeps making setting fields very difficult for the returning bowlers. It came down to the final ball where HH needed one run for victory. A swipe to leg took the ball to mid on where they scampered the single before the ball couldn’t be retired quickly enough. An excellent game where players from both sides were given new opportunities to prove themselves in their first XIs.
HH chose to bat first in the second game and began with much more intent, as Menzies look to strike early boundaries. Hatchett was first to strike once again but a partnership again began to build as Bailey and Menzies put on 132 for the second wicket as Rebbetts rang the changes in the bowling department. Rafe Liebers broke the partnership, picking up Menzies caught in the deep before a few late wickets reduced the scoring rate dramatically. Credit again goes to Pettman for his variety and execution at the death. Bailey hit 5 sixes in his well made 63 off 40 balls to propel HH to 173 off their 20 over allocation.
Haynes found his form again during the second innings, striking an excellent 39 off 34 balls. George Cave was given the chance to open the batting, but fell for 7 before Graham was caught reverse sweeping early on. This left Rebbetts and Sturmer to try and build partnership as well as keep up with the 9 an on over run rate. Sturmer was caught at long on for 15 before Adkin came in later down the oder after having to keep Wicket in the absence of Cammish and second team keeper Heppell. He looked in excellent touch though taking on the spin of Phelps and Smith for 30 runs off just 15 balls before being bowled sweeping. This came a little too late for Grinstead who will rue the slow start as Hatchett scored a late 21not out off just 9 balls and Rebbetts hitting 30 off 27 showed that the score could be chased down. Grinstead lost by 22 runs in the end.
Another excellent Saturday of cricket shows that competitive cricket will be played throughout the remainder of the season and that some form is coming back to those that have been out of the game for a while! The first XI host Three Bridges and Three Bridges TV on Saturday in a 40 over game, replicating the August Cup that begins the week after. We look forward to those in attendance!
Darryl Rebbetts (First XI Captain)