13th June 2021 at Petworth Park
Petworth Park CC 228-1 (35 overs G Westmore 115no, A Rees 63no, T Holloway 7-1-37-1)
Lodsworth 230-5 (32.4 overs O Crawshaw 125no, M Williams 48, M Hasan 7-0-41-2)
Lodsworth won by 5 wickets
Hot and sunny, no clouds in the sky, and approaching nearly a year without a win in the book, Lodsworth Cricket Club visited their neighbours in the grounds of Petworth Park. Beautifully situated with stunning views to the South Downs, Petworth Park CC has been rejuvenated over the last few years, with a keen team and plenty of investment, and a wicket with a surface so flat and smooth that West Sussex County Council Highway Division could only ever dream of…
Having lost the toss for the fourth time in a row, Lodsworth were sent out to field in the scorching heat. With an initially attacking field in place, it was soon evident that the pitch was going to offer little assistance to the bowlers and the quick outfield meant boundaries were found easily, with the Petworth openers Westmore and Abbott pouncing on any ball that was not perfect in line or length. Two overs in and Lodsworth were already on the defensive, with 3 deep on the offside to limit the damage.
Westmore was rarely troubled and accumulated back-to-back centuries against the visiting side. The only wicket to fall in Petworth’s innings was with Abbot top-edging a pull off Toby Holloway with a great catch by Jamie Gough running in from the fine leg boundary.
It wasn’t an entirely perfect performance by the visitors, and had Lodsworth not let through a few fours and given away overthrows, the target may have been 20 runs less. Injuries to the skipper further compounded the task. However, despite the punishing conditions in the field, Lodsworth stayed committed and limited the target they would be chasing – Petworth finishing their innings with 228 runs off 35 overs.
Although Lodsworth had little to show for their efforts in terms of the scorebook, it did feel that it was a score a bit below par for the wicket and certainly chase-able if one or two batsmen got themselves in.
Following the picnic tea, the intent was there from the offset, Matt Hall cutting the first ball to the boundary and 11 runs scored off the first over. Petworth soon tightened up on the bowling, and stemmed the flow of runs initially. After Hall fell, there was a flurry of quick wickets, bringing the injured skipper Mike Williams + runner batting at 6 to the crease alongside number 3 Owen Crawshaw.
A disastrous over conceeding 32 runs injected life into the Lodsworth innings, and Crawshaw seized the initiative, combining splendid stroke play with power, including towering sixes in all directions and fielding the strike to keep the momentum going. Williams, when on strike, complimented with a sparkling 48 off far fewer balls.
With quick running, turning singles into twos, and punishing any bad ball to the boundary, the run-rate quickly started to fall. When the skipper eventually fell, the imperious Crawshaw turned up the heat and accelerated to his well-deserved maiden century for Lodsworth. Needing 35 runs from 5 overs, the target was in sight and 16 balls later passed, with Tom Freeman scoring the winning runs and Crawshaw finishing on 125 not out.
After 3 close games, with Lodsworth on the losing side in each, it was a fantastic victory to turn the tide topped off with Owen’s outstanding innings. Credit too to the bowlers for keeping it tight, the skipper for his innings despite injury and the whole team for their efforts in the field.