Jayamanne unbeaten century not enough as Ifield fall to league leaders

Prasansana Jayamanne scored 109 for Ifield. Picture by Steve Robards.
Prasansana Jayamanne scored 109 for Ifield. Picture by Steve Robards.

Ifield fell to a four wicket defeat at the hands of table toppers Hastings & St Leonards Priory at the weekend, despite the best efforts of Prasansana Jayamanne who scored an unbeaten 109.

Captain Jack Groves won the toss for Ifield and elected to bat, but a poor start to the innings proved to be a sign of things to come. Openers Tom Wragg and Lex Wills managed just 11 runs between them, with Wills bowled without scoring, and Ifield never recovered.

Jayamanne was then joined by Jack Groves with the score on 45, and it was down to them to restore Ifield's confidence and put them back on track. They managed to record another 40 runs before Groves was caught for a gritty 14 off 41 balls, giving Ifield reason for optimism.

However, both Sumal Koippli and Luke Morris were caught having added just one run to the Ifield total and it was starting to become a question of who could stay with Jayamanne long enough for him to post a decent score and give Ifield a chance.

Daniel Groves came in and scored 21 off just 15 balls in a knock that included four boundaries and looked like he could help turn Ifield's fortunes around, but once he was caught by Ricardo De Nobrega to become Jed O'Brien's fourth wicket, there was no meaningful support for the high-scoring Jayamanne.

Rahul Patel and Matthew Graves both fell without scoring a run at the end of the innings and Jayamanne achieved the feat of sharing the crease with every one of his teammates apart from opener Lex Wills.

The Sri Lankan managed to complete his century and recorded 109 runs, helping Ifield to a total of 175-9 after 53 overs.

In the Hastings innings, the run chase started strongly with runs being scored freely until opener De Nobrega was run out by Daniel Groves after contributing 33 runs to the 83 registered at the time of his departure.

Joe Billings was then caught soon after on 46 with the Hastings total at 84, and things were looking up for Ifield, but the bowlers were unable to make any further inroads until Hastings had managed 136 runs, when Ryan Hoadley was bowled by Jayamanne to become his first of three wickets.

Only needing 40 more runs, Hastings were still very well placed. Three wickets in rapid succession gave Ifield a glimmer of hope but proved too little too late as Hastings completed the chase after just 37.4 overs. Jayamanne registered the best bowling figures for Ifield with 3-51.

Ifield now look forward to their home game against St James's Montefiore as they aim to bounce back and climb up the table.