East Grinstead invited Eastbourne over for a development game filled with a mix of 1s, 2s and up and coming youngsters from each club. Eastbourne opted to bat first on another beautifully sunny day at Saint Hill. Ned Rowland and Sam Jackson opened the bowling for Grinstead and immediately looked dangerous. Rowland was the first to pick up a wicket with a chip to mid wicket where Rebbetts did the rest. A well executed plan by Rowland. Rowland picked up the other opener with an outside edge to Under 16 Sussex player Harvey Roberts. Jackson continued to challenge the outside edge and got his reward picking up the dangerous Dan Smith for just 5. First team all rounder Jacob Smith looked assured from the outset, rotating the strike well. Trubshaw struck two big sixes off Lingard which could have dented his confidence but Lingard showed excellent resilience to bounce back his wicket,using his bounce well to have Trubshaw caught at square leg for 18. This brought in star batsmen Ali Orr who made 84* for the first team just the day before. Ryan Trotter bowled with consistency and more accuracy to two capable left handers. They did score regular boundaries but with carefully constructed fields, Grinstead managed to keep the scoring rate under control. Nik Trotter was the man to break the partnership picking up the important wicket of Orr, caught and bowled for 44. Smith retired himself valiantly on 64, giving himself some batting time before continuing in the August cup next weekend. The final bowler introduced by Rebbetts was the up and coming 13 year old Alex Barker. HIs leg spin looked dangerous from the outset, showing excellent control and variation, not to mention his fielding was brilliant throughout. His 7 overs only cost him 26 bowling at the end of an innings to some premier league cricketers. Rowland and Lingard returned to show off their death bowling skills. Ned immediately firing in a yorker and bowling Jack Trubshaw. He ended with 3/37 off his 7 overs. Lingard picked up 2/42 off 6 overs showing excellent potential too. Eastbourne ended on 217/9. A brilliant display from the youthful bowlers who bowled clinically and consistently. As one of the coaches of the colts, I am really excited to see the growth and potential of these youngsters.
Grinstead opened the batting with Lex Wills and Harvey Roberts but lost Roberts early in an unlucky fashion edging down the leg side. De Sousa and Wills batted well, building a partnership scoring regular boundaries but struggled more with rotating the strike. Wills was also unlucky, hitting a long hop to short fine leg off the spin of Blackburn. George Cave entered but didn’t last long, splicing a short ball straight to mid wicket. Rebbetts entered at 5 to try and get Grinstead back on track but were put under pressure by the spin of the experienced Smiths (Dan and Jacob). They bowled 14 overs in tandem restricting the scoring of Rebbetts and De Souza; the latter passing 50 with another excellent timed pull through mid wicket. He was also unfortunate to go inside edging onto pad and the ball popped up to the wicket keeper. Nik Trotter came to the crease with Grinstead needing 49 off the last 5 overs. Rebbetts picked up the pace with 2 successful reverse sweeps for four before a couple of drag downs gave a couple more boundaries. However, with some good death bowling it left Grinstead needing 21 off the final over with Rebbetts on strike. Four byes, first ball, before a two and a four from Rebbetts left 11 needed from two balls. Rebbetts pulled another ball to the boundary leaving 6 for a tie. Rebbetts heaved the final length ball to the legside… It looked good in the air, but did it have the legs to make it over the boundary? The answer was yes, but that wasn’t the end of the story, Sussex 2nd XI player Orr was on the deep mid wicket boundary and somehow managed to dive backwards, catch the ball in one hand and throw it back into play before landing over the boundary. An amazing end to a brilliant game to which we saw lots of potential mixed in with some excellent cricket from the more experienced cricketers to paith the way for the younger generation.
We will certainly be inviting Eastbourne again for another game next year! The development side play West Chilt next Sunday led by our chairman Kristian Hunt! Good luck to all playing, it was an excellent day to be a part of.