Ifield still unbeaten thanks to Smith

WH 100514 Cricket. Goring v Ifield. Joe Smith. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141205-103912002
WH 100514 Cricket. Goring v Ifield. Joe Smith. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141205-103912002

Ifield showed resilience under pressure to salvage an unlikely draw in a rain-affected match away to Middleton.

Skipper Jack Groves won the toss and invited Middleton to bat first and the home side started well enough.

It took until the 12th over for the first wicket to fall when Will Affleck was caught by Matt Cooke off the bowling of Daniel Groves for 23.

Sean Heather and Ben Hansford put on a solid 61 runs for the third wicket and then with rain in the air Jigar Parekh bowled Hansford for 26 and with the score at 101 for three, the teams were forced to leave the field for a two-hour rain break.

Directly after the resumption Dinesh Salankhe trapped Heather LBW for 38 and the game was very much in the balance.

Patrick Colvin and Matthew Reynolds put on 35 for the fifth wicket before both fell to Salankhe in the space of five runs – but again Middleton forged another partnership this time for the seventh wicket and progressed the score to 177 before Cooke fell to Sulankhe for 23.

Salankhe picked up his fifth wicket when he bowled Hanley for one and the innings finished on 185 for eight off a reduced 41 overs.

Ifield’s reply started in similar fashion to Middleton and they lost their first wicket with the score on 33 when Joe Cooke was bowled by his namesake for 15.

Then two further quick wickets fell when Mike Norris and then Salankhe were both dismissed cheaply and at 45 for three Ifield were in a spot of bother.

Jack Groves joined Dorrington, who had dropped anchor at one end, and together they attempted to rebuild the innings but with the partnership only on 18, Groves was caught in the covers for 12 and this became the first of three dismissals with the score on 63 and Ifield were in real trouble.

Dorrington was bowled for the addition of only four further runs to the total and the visitors were facing their first reversal of the season at 67 for 7 – but the Ifield tail wagged and Joe Smith was the hero, stubbornly ignoring the ranks of close fielders around the bat and expertly maintaining his concentration.

He was supported by Rahul Patel and Daniel Groves but when they were both dismissed near the end.

The Ifield nerves were really jangling but Smith held firm with Parekh and ended 29 not out off 45 balls and Ifield maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a draw after finishing on 112 for 9.

This Saturday Ifield face Eastbourne at Ifield Green.

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