Thanks to a fabulous first century from Ed Watson, Uckfield Anderida 1st XI breezed home by 10 wickets against Newhaven at the Victoria Ground. Meanwhile the 2nd XI won a tense match at Burwash by just 3 runs.
At Victoria Park, Matt Reed probably bowled the best he has all year. It seems strange saying that, given that the man has 32 wickets this year, and only picked up one in this display – but he had the ball on a string. The closest the Newhaven openers got to him was a little edge off the 3rd ball of the innings.
Chris Brady couldn’t find his rhythm of last week, and was swiftly withdrawn in favour of Saunders. With Reed and Saunders in tandem, the run rate was pedestrian, and Uckfield felt in control, but the lack of wickets was cause for concern. Burns brought himself on, and for the first time in 3 seasons found a bit of zip to have Tullet caught behind.
Harvey and Turner also bowled well with little reward, aside from a good catch from Tungate to remove Wells. When opener, Brechin, finally departed to a nick from the returning reed, the remainder of the Newhaven line up seemed intent on throwing the bat at everything. Khan in particular played fluently for his 37. Any how, Brady removed him and bagged another in what was a much better second spell.
Newhaven finished on 212-6. After a tea that Tungate is going to describe in the comments below (owing to impartiality rules), the ones set about the run chase with the new look opening partnership of Watson and McCallum.
And that, was that. The weakened Newhaven attack never really looked like taking wickets. Some of the running between the wickets was criminally bad, but I guess when you hit boundaries like these two can, it really doesn’t matter so much.
McCallum (80 not out) defended the good balls, and punished any width with aplomb. However, the star of the show was big eddy watson (121 not out) who was imperious, timing the ball superbly. It was only a matter of time, but he finally got there. He brought up his 100 with a typically disdainful swat through midwicket, and it was a joy to see the relief on his face.
The 2nd XI game at Burwash was not nearly so comfortable. After losing the toss and being put in on a grassy wicket, Huntley and Moore began with an excellent opening stand. When Moore departed, Greenslade kept the score ticking along and bagged himself another score of 20+. A small collapse in the middle order meant that Huntley’s 61 would need some support from the lower middle order. Pat Phillips with 30* and 14* from Muggeridge duly obliged and ensured that there was something to defend. Those late runs proved of great importance as Uckfield finished on 205 for 7.
Some early inroads from Iswariah and Boniface got the side off to a good start. Vyas backed up his opening bowlers with a very economical spell – taking two wickets for just 23 runs. Dan Phillips also chipped in with two important wickets.
However, star of the show was skipper Neal Boniface. Taking responsibility and bringing himself back on to bowl with the opposition needing just 8 runs for their last 3 wickets, which soon became just 4 runs, he stubbornly bowled tight at the stumps to clear up the tail to complete his fifer and win the game for his team. A fabulous effort.