Battle and Newick shared the points in a thrilling high scoring draw at the weekend.
The sight of a flat pitch, sunny day and a short fast outfield did not seem to cause Newman any doubt when he won the toss- taking the decision to field. With Ballard due to arrive late , and save the day , Battle started with only ten men. Newman (1-53) took an early wicket , but M Symonds and J Waylett scored at an alarming rate. Bowling changed were quickly as the score read 89-1 off only a handful of overs. D Baldock (2-57) removed the dominant looking left-hander Symonds (36) as the batsman tried an ungamely heave over the legside. This was the last joy battle receive for some while as J Waylett and M Saywer build an incredible partnership of 204. No Battle bowler could effectively contain the 2 batsman, who both drove confidently and took advantage of the slow bounce from any short pitched bowling. The outfield was so fast the most Battle fielders felt completely helpless on the fence, unable to reach balls thundering past only three of four yards away. S Lucent (2-38) returned to capture two wickets including Sawyer (107) as Battle managed to earn 3 late bowling points. J Waylett finished up with 134*, unbeaten in a chanceless innings.
The home side made their initial goal to reach the 210 required for maximum batting points. V Goosen (83) did not waste any time in this pursuit. Flaying the opening bowlers to the fence, in all directions: Newicks bowlers and fielders weresoon left to feel the same as Battle’s had earlier. R Yardy contributed 19 of the opening partnership of 89, and N Reid , remarkable ,contributed 0 in a partnership of 23 with Goosen. J Waylett, given no rest after his long innings, eventually removed Goosen for 83, and shortly B Newman (16) to leave battle in a potentially troublesome 148-4. Coombes (42) scored the majority of the runs as he and J Carthew took the score to 202-5. Once C Driscoll took the Battle score past 210 thoughts turned to trying to chase down the monstrous total. Jeffs (13), having only moved back to Battle this very morning, tried to get things moving with three quick 4’s including a massive blow over long on. J Carthew (45) and D Baldock added another 40, before Carthew fell, foolishly stumped just as Battle seemed to be in control of the run chase. J Waylett (3-74) claiming the wicket and was without double the pick of the Newick bowling attack. Fellow centurion J Sawyer also picked up three wickets. With time and batsman running out, and Ballard still yet to arrive, Baldock and Lucent were unable to score the required runs, nor Newick able to take the final wicket, leaving both sides in touching distance of a victory.
Battle’s tally of 15 points increases the lead over Lewis Priory by one point , but it looks increasingly like victory will be needed in at least one of the next two games, starting with Plumpton away on Saturday.
Battle nearly chased down 300+ without batsman O Griffiths, set to return next week