Author: Tom Black

Horsted Keynes vs East Grinstead 3s 3/6/17

In a game that was over by 5 PM, Horsted beat East Grinstead by 3 wickets, after bowling the away side out for 86, but easy work it was not.


Sunshine kissed the outfield at The Crown as the troops made their way out to play, with Horsted bowling first. Skipper Harvey James marshalled the first half of the innings to perfection, with his pace sending Grinstead wickets tumbling, whilst the youthful Tom Black tied the batsmen down; producing 5 maidens from 6 overs.


On a day, and wicket where Harvey would prove unplayable, his pace and bounce first bowled one EG opener; through a slow yorker. Then minutes later an unusually well placed bouncer from Harv produced an edge from number 3 Zachary Riley, which the old reliable Dave Lancaster was more than happy to gobble up behind the stumps. Tom Black would then try and bowl a “heavy one”, which should’ve rightfully been pulled for 6, but much to everyone’s surprise was uncharacteristically, athletically caught by Toby Glenn in the covers, to dismiss opener Ryan Trotter.


Questionable comes up twice in this sentence, Benjamin Davies dismissal in his opinion and his drop from Grinstead 1s to batting number 4 in their 3rd team. Harvey getting charged down by a batsman is a rarity in the Mid Sussex League, and that what Davies did, who was made to pay. The aggressive number 4 had had been going well on 34, until Harvey fired another bouncer down, and Davies reaching hook shot fell to Mick Tindall at deep point who took a highly athletic diving catch which was counter stereotypical of his 67 years.


The capture of Davies wicket proved crucial in Horsted’s rolling of Grinstead in the first innings, as wickets now fell regularly with Harvey capturing Nik Trotter and Deepak Kapadia caught behind to complete his five for. Tom Robinson, replacing Tom Black at the bottom end had Morgan Lapina Amarelle caught close in for 3, which left Grinstead 8 down when Harvey brought himself of with figures of 5-56.


It only took 3 overs from our kolpak Pete Newson (2-2) down the hill, and another 4 from Robbo (2-21) coming up to bowl Grinstead out for 86 after 25 overs. This wasn’t easy work however, as Nicky Chaudhuri batted her way to a stylish 19 not out at number 10, including a punch on drive for 4 off Harv.


We had struggled with the pressure of chasing low scores over the past few seasons, and the first 10 overs were worryingly reminiscent of when we failed to chase 89 at home to Lindfield last season. The two openers Toby Glenn and Pete Newson went early, LBW to Ned Rowland and Jon Thompson respectively. The baby faced assassin Tom Robinson came in at 3 and ground out some good bowling whilst wickets fell at the other end.


Alex Waters, Dave Lancaster and Mick Tindall all went for ducks to Grinstead veteran Jon Thompson. Robbo would’ve been glad to see Harvey join him at the crease, given the amount of hundreds they’ve put on together in previous seasons. The two of them attacked Grinstead’s bowling, playing well off the front foot. Jon Thompson coming off at the top end proved a turning point in the Horsted innings, as Robbo took a liking to Nik Trotter’s off spin, and struck 3 sixes from one over.


East Grinstead did find a lease of life when Tom was caught behind (37) and Prev found himself bowled (0) by Thompson balls later. Although in the end there was no panic as Blair Jarvis (0*) accompanied Harvey to 37 not out to secure the 30 points for Horsted 7 wickets down.


We had joined the opposition in The Crown by 5:30, enjoying Harv’s jug purchased for his five for.


Next week we travel to Colemans Hatch (1:30 start) and hope to extend our 4 point lead at the top of Mid Sussex div 2



Burgess Hill 3s vs Horsted Keynes- Whitemans Green 6/5/17

Arriving at Whitemans Green we knew we were back for another seasons of Mid Sussex Division 2 cricket. Until arrival we were unaware that the pitch was artificial, so studs it was! Prev didn’t seem too worried however, managing to wait a whole 20 minutes before cracking open his first lager of the season. Nothing had changed…. Oh, apart from some we had some bloke called Jim Fuller playing for us?


Harvey James won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that should theoretically play like a net. Clearly this was not the case for the opening partnership of Tom Black and Pete Newson. Young Tom was bowled for just 12 in the 8th over after taking a dirty sweep at a ball clearly going down leg side. Although Tom’s 12 runs were 12 more than what the HK resident South African Pete Newson managed to put together, as our Kolpak player failed to impress. Better next week please Pete….


As it turned out, the two early wickets wouldn’t matter, as Robbo and Alex Waters came in and formed a short, yet explosive partnership. Alex’s agricultural style helped him on his way to 55 from no more than 25 balls, which was only interrupted by a proper “village” moment, as a Yorkshire Terrier gave his owner the run around on the pitch for a good minute or two. After the brief pause in play, Alex went caught and bowled, and Harvey joined Robbo, who was still out there batting a textbook Tom Robinson test style innings.


To everyone’s surprise, Harvey was soon bowled for 11 despite it still being unclear what quite happened. HK veteran Dave Lancaster came in at six, and was simply buzzing to get out the house for the new season. Lancs, or Lance to some, made a quick fire 29 before having his leg stump taken out to a huge in swinger. Graham James came in, and was about to create my favourite moment of the season so far. However, first Robbo was out LBW after making a delicious 66. At number 8, the wild dog Mickey Tindall came in fresh off Sussex Vets duties, only to be caught minutes later. Jim Fuller arrived at the crease and looked pumped to recreate an Alex Waters style innings…


Only an over into the partnership, Grum had already suffered a near run out experience, clearly not reaching Jim’s expectations of his pace between the wickets. At this point Graham turned to me, as umpire, stating ‘I haven’t been run out by a Fuller for a few years, and I don’t want it to be today’. Now Jim, still on 0 after a couple of overs, nudged the ball to the leg side, gave the shout to Grum and attempted a quick single that even a Kevin Pitersen in his prime years would have fallen short on. Moments later, with Blair coming in at number 10, we would experience a de ja vu moment, where from Square Leg umpire I could see a sprinting Blair Jarvis fail to make the crease by at least 5 yards. This situation was only made more painful by everyone being treated to Jim missing out on four consecutive cut shots the previous over.


In came Prev to show everyone how village cricket batting is meant to look. With minimal foot movement, and a beer inside him, Prev hit a punchy drive straight over the bowler’s head for four, and then played the cut shot amounting to the same result. That glorious brace of fours from our specialist number 11 rewarded us with 10 bonus points for reaching 200, as HK finished on 205.


Burgess Hill’s innings was a shorter state of affairs as Harvey James used the artificial track to his advantage, applying plenty of pace and bounce. He reaped the rewards and took 4 wickets. At the other end Jim Fuller redeemed his batting escapades, using swing and pinpoint accuracy to also take 4 wickets. The last 2 wickets only needed an over each from Robbo and Tom Black to be mopped up, and bowl the opposition out for 103, securing us 30 points and leaving us top of the league one game in.