Seaford 2s got the season off to a flyer with a thrilling last ball victory over newly promoted Crowborough 1st team.
On an extremely breezy and chilly day Skipper Karl Wootten lost the toss and was asked to bat on a green seaming wicket. Crowborough’s opening bowlers kept it tight early doors. The loss of the dangerous Rob Gravett, for 8, was a blow, but that bought to the wicket Jon Robards, who along with Gavin Wright steadied the ship, before Wright fell in 12th over. In came the returning Bilesh Jayamanne, a welcome return for all at Seaford CC. A solid 29 from Bilesh was bought to an end when a firm drive went to hand at cover. Another quick wicket went down which bought in league debutant Tim Page. He and Robards then moved the score on with a mix of lusty full blooded boundaries and well ran singles, before Robards well made half century was bought to an end caught on the long on boundary. Tim Page soon followed cleaned up trying for another boundary. Veteran Jolly John Smith stabilised Seaford through the last few overs to ensure maximum batting points, crucially hitting 2 boundaries off the last three balls, as the Seaford innings closed on 176-8, 25 short of what they would have hoped to achieve.
J Foskitt was pick of the Crowborough bowlers with 3 wickets.
The Crowborough innings started like a whirlwind with Burns hitting the ball to all parts including the tennis courts in the first over. Easton was out to Tim Page in the fifth over, a fine steepling catch in a strong wind by Bilesh.
Burns carried on attacking the Seaford seamers until the experience of John Smith got one under his bat to send him back to the pavilion for powerfully struck 41. Change bowlers J P Smith and Billy Wootten then had the task of battling the stiff breeze as well as the batsmen, a fine job done by both, particularly MOM J P "Paddy" Smith who returned figures of 9-6-13-2 in extremely challenging conditions, experience winning the day there.
Ben Page then had the job of running in from the sea end with the wind and cold making that equally as challenging, a fine seven over spell from Ben helped keep Seaford in touch. Always behind the game were Seaford but it is a funny old game, you never know. The introduction of Bilesh, with his changed bowling mode of off spin paid dividends in his first over as he demolished to stumps of R Holman for a watchful 23. The returning Billy Wootten then grabbed a well deserved first 2nd team wicket with a well judged catch by Tim Page. Game on as the Seaford bowlers and fielders all upped their game now to put the squeeze on Crowborough’s number 7 and 8, the boundaries dried up and singles became fewer. Crowborough were ahead of the game the entire innings due to their flying start, they were favourites going into the final few overs but some fine overs from Billy W and Bilesh ensured the game went into the final over with nine runs required for victory.
Back came the seasoned Smith to close the game out for Seaford, that looked unlikely as Foskett rocketed the first ball of the over to the cover boundary. Fortunately for Seaford Smith then beat the flashing blade for the next five balls to secure an unlikely but hard earned victory.
A superb victory for Seaford, a great team effort despite being behind in the game for majority of it. The game was refreshingly played in excellent spirit, thank you Crowborough for that, despite the winter like weather. The game was enjoyed by all, a great way to start the season off and with a win especially, as we all looked a little rusty. On the road next week to Linden Park.
Author: Karl Wootten