Southwater’s bowlers’ concentration key to win on rainy day

JPCT 080613 S13240304x CRICKET: Southwater v Clymping. Alex Harding batting for Southwater -photo by Steve Cobb ENGPPP00420130906123059
JPCT 080613 S13240304x CRICKET: Southwater v Clymping. Alex Harding batting for Southwater -photo by Steve Cobb ENGPPP00420130906123059

Southwater captain Nick Baker praised his bowlers as they made up crucial ground in Division 4 by keeping their concentration in a rain-affected day against Henfield.

The home side eased to a comfortable seven-wicket victory in the end to jump up to fifth-place in the standings.

Southwater were expecting a tough day after Henfield’s derby win over Slinfold the previous weekend, but Baker saluted his side for coming through tough bowling conditions.

They had to come off a handful of times for rain breaks, but still managed to bowl their visitors out for 171.

Opener Alex Harding then top-scored with an unbeaten 78, along with Danny Humphrey’s 55 not out as they came home with 172-3.

Baker said: “It was good to have such a comfortable win in the end, well it looks fairly comfortable on paper.

“But we had to bowl first and we kept coming off all the time and had the covers on about four or five times.

“It’s never easy to stop and start as bowlers as you have to keep your concentration and that goes against you, but credit to the bowlers, we restricted them.

“It was a very long day in the end. The fourth time we had the covers on we thought it was done as there was a lot of rain around and it didn’t look likely to break at all, but luckily it did.

“We have to thank Henfield as well as they helped get the covers on and off quickly, which helped a lot.

“I think Henfield tried to get it on as well, both sides knew results count on a rainy day as teams are going to be off and drop points somewhere.”

Early wickets from James Skett (2-31) and Baker (1-26) dismissed Scott Pedersen (one) and Dan Hodgkin for a duck with Henfield at 3-2 after winning the toss and opting to bat.

Top-scorer Tom Paine set about rebuilding the innings, but wickets continued to fall around him, including dangerman Brighton Mugochi (ten). Captain Jack Parsons added 26 to take the score to 64-4, Harry Stewart (20) helped them to 101, before he was caught off Humphreys (2-24).

Paine went on to make 53, but he was one of Harrison Webb’s three victims and a late 21 from Mark Hopgood helped Henfield to 171 in 44.3 over in between the rain breaks.

In reply, Southwater’s innings were unaffected by the weather and despite losing Paul Osborne for 15, Johann Brouwer for one and Jay Patel for 15, Harding and Humphreys saw Southwater home in 33.2 overs.

The pair put on a 99-run stand for the third wicket after Harding opened the batting.

Baker added: “Danny and Alex dominated their attack. Danny loves batting at home and Alex looked like he was back to his usual self.

“It has set-up the table nicely. If someone had said we’d be 12 points off the top one game before the halfway stage, I would have taken it and that’s where we are.

“We have played eight and won four and lost four, but are not far behind the leaders, in a normal season we would be really struggling.”

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