CRICKET: Clifford's 52 helps Ifield to seven-wicket win against Lindfield

Ifield batsman Paul Clifford goes on the attack.'Picture by Steve Robards
Ifield batsman Paul Clifford goes on the attack.'Picture by Steve Robards

Ifield cruised to a seven-wicket win and joint-top place in the table with a game in hand.

Lindfield won the toss and batted first but lost both openers early on with Matt Graves picking up the wickets in a good opening spell.

Overseas player Tem Hodson and youngster Tom Hinley steadied the visitors innings but Graves and Jigar Parekh were bowling with good accuracy and control and runs were hard to come by.

With the score on 96 in the 40th over the partnership was broken when new bowler Robbie Ballarino bowled Hinley for 23 and this was immediately followed when new batsman Martel was needlessly run out without scoring and then just one run later Daniel Groves clean bowled Harry Chaudhary for just 1 and in the blinking of an eye Lindfield had gone from 95 for 2 to 98 for 5.

Hopkins was caught by Mike Norris off Ballarino for 17 and then the important wicket of Hodson (66) was claimed without addition to the score when Norris and Ballarino repeated the dismissal to leave Lindfield on 123 for 7.

There was some late resistance from Weir and Ahmed and they went into the final over on 161 for 7 but Groves picked up two wickets in 3 balls, both well caught in the deep by Sam Dorrington and then there was a run out off the final ball of the over and Lindfield were all out for 162.

There were three wickets each for Groves and Ballarino, two for Graves and two run outs but special mention also to Parekh who whilst wicketless on the day returned excellent figures of 13 overs, eight maidens with just 16 runs conceded.

Ifield’s batting has been firing well all season and despite losing the early wicket of Mike Norris for just four there was an air of inevitability about the run chase despite the pace of Pearce and the spin of Chaudhary and although they lost a second wicket when Joe Smith was caught behind for just 9 Paul Clifford was batting comfortably and made his way to another half century before he was caught for 52.

At 89 for 3 Lindfield needed another quick breakthrough if they were to make a game of it but it simply didn’t come and Dan Smith and Nathan Amin effortlessly took Ifield past the winning post to secure a seven-wicket victory with both batsmen finishing unbeaten on 46.

Ifield look forward to a top of the table clash at Billingshurst next Saturday followed by a home game on Sunday against Bledlow Village in the 5th round of the National Village Cup.