Akeem Jordan’s stunning 145 was hailed as ‘one of the best’ as Slinfold got their season up and running with a 40-run victory over Three Bridges 2nd in Division 4.
The Barbadian stole the show with the bat as the visitors posted 251 in 36.5 overs, before bowling their hosts out for 211 as debutant Thivagar Jeyachandran grabbed 4-41.
Slinfold - batting first after losing the toss - saw their opening three go for just 13 runs, before Jordan set about his innings.
And it was a crucial knock with just captain Tom Filby (30) and Imran Shah (15) making double figures to assist him in their tally of 251.
Robert Legg (2-43), Arran Brown (2-49) and Atif Elahi (3-51) were the main dangermen with the ball.
In reply, Jordan (3-19) claimed the wicket of Elahi with the first ball and although Jack biden (37), Liam Barrett (34) and Syeed Dabeer (33) offered some resistance, the Slinfold attack was on song.
Shah finished with figures of 2-38 and Dan Graycon claimed 1-45 along with Jeyachandran’s four-wicket haul.
Captain Filby said: “We would have bowled first because of the new format and having a target to chase. That said the pitch looked decent and we were confident of posting a good score.
“So we were disappointed to lose a few early wickets. Our run-rate was high but we were losing wickets too frequently.
“Akeem played one of the best knocks I have seen in league cricket. He held the innings together and was ruthless on anything short and over-pitched. The lower order managed to hang around with him long enough to see him through to 145 and the team to 251.
“I was very happy to set a target of 252 and felt that if we bowled to our ability it would be enough. We made the perfect start with Akeem taking a wicket with the first ball of the innings. Dan Graycon, and Imran Shah then came on and tightened things up and really slowed the scoring rate down.
“The star of our bowling performance was Thivagar Jeyachandran who on his first team debut took four crucial wickets and bowled beautifully to lead us to victory.
“Dan Graycon and Steve Haines held on to two crucial catches out in the deep late on and in the end the match was a little closer than I would have liked.
“Overall, I am really pleased to start the new campaign with a win. There is lots for us to work on and we can certainly improve in the weeks ahead. The spirit in the club remains high and we look forward to our first home game next week.”
Slinfold host Mayfield 2nd on Saturday.