Uckfield Anderida 1st XI won for the first time this season against Bells Yew Green, while the 2nd XI suffered their first defeat, writes Tom Grimes.
On a breezy, sunny Saturday at the Victoria Ground, Uckfield were pleased to win the toss and bowl first on a green wicket, the result of heavy rain earlier in the week that threatened the game going ahead at all.
Opening bowlers, Matt Reed and Chris Brady duly delivered with some excellent seam and swing bowling that the opposition were barely able to get a bat on, and when they did, it was with little control.
Opening batsman, Pundir, clearly decided that attack was the best form of defence, with a number of chances in the air going begging before Reed got his just rewards by having Pundir caught in the deep by Tungate.
This brought in Allan at number three who immediately set about some blistering batting, standing well out of his crease and driving Reed over the top with contempt.
In truth, he had Uckfield in real trouble, since they had little answer to his clean ball striking. But it was his refusal to moderate his ultra-attacking approach that was his downfall, eventually caught in the deep off Reed for a brutal 25.
Brady continued to bowl with chilling economy, but without success, which repeatedly came at the other end, with Burns now getting among the action. He bowled a superb spell with swing and bounce that picked off the remaining opener and number five, Marshall, clean bowled for a duck.
Andrew Turner was a different proposition for the Bells Yew Green batsmen, but no less tricky with his swing and guile that brought him two wickets. Capping an excellent all round bowling performance for Uckfield was James Harvey, who bowled very consistently and cleaned up three of the opposition batsmen.
While Craven at number nine played very neatly, knowing when to defend and when to attack, which frustrated Uckfield, the visitors were eventually bowled out for 159 off 43 overs. This gifted Uckfield five extra and valuable overs to chase the total down on a slow wicket.
A welcome early tea saw Uckfield feeling confident as the teapot was poured and the baguettes devoured. However, after losing openers Morton and Chris Turner for just a handful of runs, the prospect looked trickier.
David Tungate and Andrew Turner soon steadied the ship, with latter playing an emphatic extra cover drive early on, eventually falling for 35.
Tungate, meanwhile, had to persevere a bit more, but saw the benefit of that determination with a decisive 63.
Captain McCallum at number 6 looked comfortable in continuing his form from last week and fell for 25 simply trying to push the run rate along on a wicket that still lacked pace.
Despite Burns falling quickly, Reed came in at number eight to finish the job with aplomb, driving and pulling his way to 17. It was with some relief then that the eighth wicket stand saw Uckfield home with four overs to spare and two wickets in hand, for their first win of the season.
Uphill task for 2nd XI
Meanwhile the 2nd XI faced an uphill task travelling to Burwash with just eight players, and were unsurprisingly beaten heavily, although the highlight for Uckfield was teenager John Griffiths taking all four opposition wickets in a promising display with the ball following his unbeaten half century with the bat last week.
Next week the 1st XI travel to Lewes St Michael’s hoping for a second win of the season and the 2nd XI host Sidley.