Roffey undone by two outstanding performances in defeat

After crushing Eastbourne CC the previous week, Roffey CC hoped to maintain their winning ways against East Grinstead CC in the Premier Division, only to be undone by two outstanding personal performances at Saint Hill on Saturday after containing and chipping away at the hosts in the early stages of the match.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 3:36 pm

East Grinstead’s batting is not always their strongest suit, but they elected to take first strike, starting very cautiously against opening bowlers Rohit Jagota and George Fleming - who once again tasted early success.

The momentum picked up, yet, at the 30 over stage the hosts were relatively modestly placed at 92-3, but, ominously, Leo Cammish was unbeaten with 54.

Spinners Harnoop Kalsi and Luke Barnard then bowled in tandem, taking three quick wickets, but still Cammish soldiered on – until the 24-year-old right hander with Sussex age group and county 2nd XI experience finally succumbed, caught behind off Kalsi (4-68) for exactly 100, out of 173-7.

Harnoop Kalsi too 4-68 in Roffey CC's defeat to East Grinstead CC. Picture by Owen Menzies-White

Theo Rivers then nipped in with two late wickets, but Grinstead had set Roffey 199 to win against a formidable attack, notably including left arm fast medium Lewis Hatchett, who took over 100 wickets across the formats for Sussex and had been Roffey’s nemesis previously.

Roffey, though, replied with intent – until Usman Khan was adjudged run out. Then, with the bit between his teeth, Hatchett dismissed the next five Roffey players to finish with 26-5 - including three lbws and a bowled - four of which batsmen lasted 20 balls between them.

At 44-6 Roffey had more than one mountain to climb, especially as Jagota’s injured foot prevented him from batting higher than nine, where he top-scored with 28.

Commendably, 15-year0old Lewis Shivnarain – a star of Roffey junior cricket – made a promising 17, but his side were bowled out for 128, to lose by 70 runs.

A full scorecard from the game can be found here.

Roffey skipper Matt Davies told the County Times: “We were undone by two match winning performances by Cammish and Hatchett.

"We bowled really well, but Cammish batted out of his skin, as the scorecard showed.

Usman Khan’s departure was a blow when we were on top, and then Hatchett ran through us, but Lewis Shivnarain batting really well on debut was a positive for us.”

At Middleton CC, leaders Preston Nomads CC started disastrously, but recovered from 3-3 and 49-6 to post 205 before bowling out their hosts for 105 to remain top with 271 points, 35 more than current runner up East Grinstead, while Roffey slip to fourth on 220, 11 shy of Three Bridges CC.

Haywards Heath CC (162) and Hastings & St Leonards Priory CC, with 127, occupy the relegation berths with Middleton – whom Roffey welcome this Saturday - only two points ahead of Heath.