Groves ‘absolutely delighted’ after Ifield seal first Premier League victory

Jack Groves
Jack Groves

Ifield secured their first Premier League victory with a two-wicket win over Eastbourne after a heroic unbeaten century from Mike Norris.

Ifield finished with a score of 228 for 8 (49.3 overs), whilst Eastbourne ended with 227 all out (46.5 overs) and the hosts’ skipper Jack Groves was ‘delighted’ with the win.

Harnoop Kalsi bowls against Eastbourne

Harnoop Kalsi bowls against Eastbourne

He said: “(I am) absolutely delighted with the win.

“Getting that first win was something that was in the back of my mind so I’m really glad we’ve done it.”

Eastbourne won the toss and decided to bat first, and an understrength Ifield bowling attack was initially put to the sword.

The visitor’s opening pair of Daniel Arms and James Hockley scored freely and had wracked up an impressive 127 before the first wicket fell when Arms was caught and bowled for 49.

Hockley continued on to a chanceless century and was eventually out for an impressive 129 when caught off the bowling of Harnoop Kalsi but at 203 for 4 Eastbourne were well placed to set an imposing target.

Ifield’s bowlers dug deep and the tide began to turn as wickets started falling with the last six wickets falling for just 24 runs.

Jigar Parekh was the pick of the bowlers for Ifield finishing with figures of 4-61.

Ifield’s chase of 228 got off to a poor start as the opening three batsmen were all dismissed with only nine on the board.

Skipper Groves and Norris put on just under 50 for the fourth wicket before Groves was dismissed for twelve.

Ifield lost two wickets in quick succession and were in big trouble at 115 for 7 but Norris was batting brilliantly and, with Kalsi, was able to put on 109 runs for the eighth wicket.

Kalsi was dismissed in the penultimate over for a valuable 29 and Norris scored the required four runs in the last over with three balls to spare to finish on 129 not out.

Groves added: “At 120-7, I wasn’t too confident but Mike and Harnoop were superb and whilst they were out there batting as they were there was always a chance.

“Hockley batted superbly on what was a pretty flat pitch. Mike’s innings was the best I’ve seen by an Ifield batsman for as long as I can remember.

“The character he showed was immense and also how calm he remained in the last few overs.”

This was an excellent result for Ifield after a couple of indifferent performances with the bat and they travel to Horsham next Saturday with renewed confidence.

“We want to follow that win up with another win Saturday but we’re taking one week at a time,” Groves said.

“We know no game is going to be easy in this league but we’ve got to back this week up with a solid performance.”

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