Dropped catches lead to a loss for Uckfield Anderida against Lewes St Michaels

A green pitch and outfield greeted the players at the Victoria Ground for the first time since the early weeks of the season and so it seemed an obvious choice for captain McCallum to ask the visitors to bat first upon winning the toss.

However, despite testing bowling from Uckfield early on, with Reed in particular causing problems, the Lewes openers played steadily to make a solid start. However, Uckfield’s sloppiness in the field turned this into an excellent opening stand, by dropping four chances, two of which were regulation.

And although Burns eventually got his just reward for some excellent bowling by removing Oliver for 46, Uckfield were unable to make the most of this breakthrough, with Allsobrook coming it at number 3 to find the boundary on numerous occasions on the way to a brisk 55 not out. It was the Lewes skipper, Whiting, though, who got the bulk of the runs for the visitors, riding his luck to combine some solid blows with sensible singles to reach a commendable 106 not out. Lewes finished on 222 for 1, and although Uckfield rued their horror show in the field, they thought the total was within reach after tea.

Following some well-filled baguettes and captain’s quiche, the Uckfield openers made a solid but slow start. However, once they had both departed, it was Tungate at 3 who began the task of compiling most of Uckfield’s runs, as he has done for most of the season. On this occasion, time was his enemy. Batting watchfully and running well between the wickets, his innings of 96 ended only when he was forced into taking too many chances to chase the win. His partnership with Reed was the highlight of the home side’s innings, with both players timing the ball well and Reed hitting some lusty blows on his way to 46, before being superbly caught on the boundary out of a darkening sky. This catch proved crucial, as subsequent batsmen were unable to match Reed’s clean hitting and as conditions got gloomier, Uckfield simply gave themselves too much to do, leaving them 20 runs short.