Ifield’s Smith hits 55 for opening game win

Eastbourne CC V Ifield CC- 6/5/17 - Ifield celebrate a Paul Clifford wicket (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170805-114014008
Eastbourne CC V Ifield CC- 6/5/17 - Ifield celebrate a Paul Clifford wicket (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170805-114014008

Ifield’s league campaign started with a comfortable away win at Eastbourne thanks to a half century from Dan Smith and a solid all-round team performance.

Eastbourne won the toss and opted to bat first and Ifield skipper Jack Groves turned to a mix of spin and seam to open the bowling and with only 5 on the total Paul Clifford bowled Dan Wells and quickly followed this up to leave the home side on 18 for 2.

Mark Tomsett and Eastbourne captain Jacob Smith looked to rebuild the innings and took the score to 37 before Smith (20) was caught by Pratik Patel to give Ifield’s new overseas player Rob Ballarino his first wicket for the club.

Tomsett was joined by Turner and they patiently kept the scoreboard ticking over without ever getting on top of a very tight and disciplined Ifield attack but the key point of the innings came either side of a drinks break when firstly Turner (19) was caught in the deep by Joe Smith off Ballarino just before drinks and then the first ball afterwards Tomsett (22) was caught in brilliant fashion by Mike Norris at mid-wicket also off Ballarino.

At 74 for 5 Eastbourne were in trouble and although several lower order batsmen got into double figures no-one could kick on and Ifield bowlers Daniel Groves (2), Mahad Ahmed (1) and Jigar Parekh (2) all picked up wickets as the home side finished on 148 all out.

Ifield’s reply got off to a positive start with Paul Clifford and Joe Smith scoring freely against a lively Eastbourne attack and they reached 46 in quick time before the introduction of spin led to Clifford (20) being rather softly stumped after misjudging a delivery from Jacob Smith.

Dan Smith joined Joe Smith and with bowler Richard Smith joining fellow bowler Jacob Smith it was becoming a Smith fest and it was Joe who was next out when he was trapped LBW to Jacob for 25.

Mike Norris and Dan Smith looked comfortable in taking the total to 78 before the drinks curse struck again when Norris who was just getting into his stride was caught at slip for 16 just before the break.

Any hopes Eastbourne had of making in-roads into the Ifield middle order were thwarted by a 64-run fourth wicket partnership between Sam Dorrington and Dan Smith during which Smith reached a really good 50.

Dorrington was unlucky to be given out caught behind for 15 when victory was in sight and it was left to captain Jack Groves to hit the winning runs.

This was a good team performance with everybody contributing and Ifield will go into the next game at home to St James with confidence.