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EGCC 1st XI v Preston (August Cup)

After the cancellation of the final group game vs Cuckfield, East Grinstead made the short journey to Fulking to play Preston Nomads who topped their group after 5 wins from 5. After winning the toss, Nomads surprisingly chose to bowl on what looked a green but decent wicket for the first weekend of September. In form batsman Leo Cammish opened the batting with Tom Haynes and while starting cautiously, always managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over. They saw off the dangerous patel and passed the 50 mark during the first powerplay. A strong start for Grinstead who looked to capitalise on their excellent start. They moved to 127 before the loss of Haynes for a well made 42 trapped LBW by Ibrahim. By this point, the normally loud and bubbly Nomads were very quiet as Cammish really stepped on the accelerator. He hit two huge sixes and six fours during his 106 ball 86. Before he fell to an excellent delivery from Kernan, Adkin edged behind and Sturmer was run out as Grinstead lost quick wickets in the pursuit for runs in the last 10 overs. Rebbetts and glaysher were bowled shortly after bringing the fresh faced Rafe Liebers to the crease to accompany the ever reliable lower order Brad Hatchett. They put on 36 in four excellent overs as 18 year old Rafe showed the middle order how to play by taking singles on offer and punishing any loose delivery to the boundary. He smashed 25 off 13 balls while Hatchett hit 13 off 15 balls as grinstead moved to a very competitive total. Both fell in the final two overs leaving Rattle and taylor to nurdle the final over, taking Grinstead over the 200 mark off their 40 overs. A real feel of an ebb and flow to the innings as Grinstead dominated the first 20 overs before losing 7 for 35 in the middle overs before Rafe and Hatchett gave Grinstead the momentum back with an excellent final 5 overs.

Grinstead went into the field knowing that early wickets would put a halt to any confidence Nomads had of chasing down the score in front of a growing crowd in Fulking. The returning Sturmer was handed the new ball in the hope of some early swing. After a wide and four from the first two balls, Nomads were already showing signs of confidence and maybe that was their downfall as Poole drove as a wide, full delivery and edged to hatchett at second slip, an excellent catch. Hatchett once again opened at the other end and bowled economically in the powerplay to build pressure on the openers. Sturmer then moved into his stride, rolling back the years as he then had Khan plumb LBW, before O’Brien hit his first ball straight to Rebbetts at backward point. At 10-3 and Sturmer on a hat trick, Grinstead were flying. Sturmer now had Phillips in his sights once again and stayed true to his word and pinned him dead in front first ball to give him his hat trick! Four in four wasn’t possible, but in his next three next overs Sturmer recorded his 14th 5 wicket haul in premier league cricket. An astonishing performance from Sturmer. It didn’t stop at 5 though as before the conclusion of his spell, he got his 6th and 7th wicket as Mckerney and Patel continued to standing front of all three and miss. Sturmer finished with 7/14 off 8 overs, and considering his first ball went for 5, Sturmer was essentially 7/9. To take the first 7 wickets in just 8 overs was remarkable and Grinstead had Nomads 43/7. We must not forget the part others played in the collapse as Grinstead caught well and bowled tightly at the other end allowing the pressure to continue. Taylor got in on the act with another LBW getting out Ibrahim; the only person so far to register double figures as he watched the 7 wickets fall at the other end. Collard was then bowled by Rattle leaving Nomads 52-9. Kerman and O’Brien then showed that there were runs to be scored by batting sensibly adding 42 for the final wicket before the introduction of fast bowler George Cave saw O’Brien hit it to backward point after some fast short bowling. Nomads were all out for 94 as Grinstead marched into the final where they will play Eastbourne who beat Roffey in the other semi final. It should be an excellent spectacle for all spectators who are in attendance next saturday.