CRICKET: Smith and Groves pave way for Ifield victory

Eastbourne CC V Ifield CC- 6/5/17 - Ifield's Robert Ballarino (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170805-114129008
Eastbourne CC V Ifield CC- 6/5/17 - Ifield's Robert Ballarino (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170805-114129008

Ifield enjoyed a thoroughly comprehensive, convincing win over St James thanks to a dominant batting performance and a clinical display with the ball.

St James won the toss and asked Ifield to bat first but despite picking up the early wicket of Paul Clifford for five they found Dan Smith and Joe Smith in determined and resilient mood and the home side were able to comfortably move the score along without too many undue alarms.

With the total on 100 the home side lost their second wicket when Joe Smith was caught for a patient 26, but then with the score on 109 new batsman Mike Norris was run out after being called through for a single that was never there.

Dan Smith reached his second consecutive 50 of the season and with Sam Dorrington, steadied the minor wobble in the innings and took the score to 151 before he was out caught on 63.

Skipper Jack Groves joined Dorrington and the scoring rate accelerated and Ifield looked well set for a decent total with wickets in hand.

Dorrington departed for a well-made 36 which brought Daniel Groves to the wicket and then the carnage began.

Both batsman went for their shots and no bowlers were spared as the brothers put on 84 runs in the final six explosive overs which included six sixes shared evenly.

Jack reached his 50 in the last over with a six into the clubhouse and finished 54 not out off 40 balls and Daniel finished 44 not out from just 19 balls.

The total of 269 for 5 off 45 overs was impressive and was going to take some chasing.

The St James reply didn’t get off to the best of starts when Sam Cooper was LBW to Pratik Patel for just seven.

Although new batsman Michael Murray and Jack Foreman were able to take the score to 51, they were always well behind the required run- rate.

When Foreman was caught by Clifford off the bowling of Mahad Ahmed for 31 this led to a steady and regular fall of wickets.

Murray made 31 before he was smartly stumped by Groves off Robbie Ballarino and the only other batsman to reach double figures was Henry Cope, who scored 18 before being bowled by Ballarino.

St James were all out for 124 to give Ifield a crushing 145-run victory with Ballarino picking up four wickets, Jigar Parekh two and the others shared around.

Ifield travel to Worthing this Saturday hoping to continue their strong start to the season.