By Ish Jalal
Crawley Eagles recorded their first win of the season at the expense of local rivals Three Bridges.
The hosts won the toss and asked the Eagles to bat on a drizzly day. The new opening partnership for the visitors made a good start as debutant Rizwan Iqbal, who had been promoted from Eagles’ fourth team, made a solid 27.
He combined with Usman Bashir (35) to put on 50 for the opening stand.
This was just the start the team had been lacking in the last two games and enabled the incoming batsmen to play their natural game without pressure and so it was the case as Jibran Khan went on to complete a brilliant 116.
Playing against his former club, Jibran was well supported by Rehan Hassan (26) and Anjum Zafer (19), as Eagles posted a challenging 244-6 off 52 overs.
Jibran smashed 13 fours and two sixes on his way to a match-winning innings.
Michael Rose was the pick of the bowlers with 3-52 off his 15 overs.
The hosts got off to a bad start with three wickets falling for only 27 runs.
The Eagles bowlers managed to get the wet ball to swing which made it very hard for any of the batsmen to deal with.
Imran Mehboob (10 overs; 3-26) and Atif Ali (11 overs; 3-36) broke the back of the batting line-up, another debutant Faizaan Mohammed (2-23) and the ever reliable Anjum Zafar (2-16) chipped in as Bridges were all out for 111 in 39 overs. Oliver Blanford was the top scorer with 22 for the home side.
Eagles claimed a maximum 30 points for the win and with it their first win of the season as well as their first since winning promotion to Sussex Premier Cricket League Division 2.
This Saturday Eagles, who are in seventh place, will be at home to second-placed Bognor Regis at Cherry Lane.
Ifield lie third in the table and will be at home to sixth-placed Eastbourne. Bridges travel to Pagham, who have yet to record a victory.
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