Michael Thornely played a captain’s innings of an unbeaten 114 to lay down a benchmark and guide Horsham to a 60-run victory over Cuckfield.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl in the Premier Division clash and Matt Green ducked into the first ball of the game from Abi Sakande taking a blow to the head.
He batted out the rest of the over, but retired hurt and although he was later given the all-clear, took no further part in the game.
Will Beer joined Ryan Maskell but the Cuckfield openers, Sakande and Hutchings, accounted for both with the run-rate sluggish at 35-2 after 18 overs.
This brought Thornely and Nick Oxley (31) together and the pair worked hard for their runs, putting on 90 for the third wicket.
Some big hitting from Tom Johnson (27 from 11 balls) along with Thornely helped Horsham to 230-5 from their 50 overs. Thornely finished unbeaten on 114 from 139 balls including five fours and five sixes.
Needing only 4.6 per over, Jeet Raval and Joe Ludlow started the Cuckfield reply positively, but a run-out in the seventh over saw Raval dismissed for 21. Harry Clark joined Ludlow, and looked to pick up where Raval left off, but it was short lived as he was bowled by Jonny Whiting for a quick-fire 13.
Brad Gayler (16) and Ludlow (44) – whose partnership of 42 was the highest of the innings.
But both struggled to score against the leg-spin of Will Beer and Michael Munday and the runs dried up.
As the required rate crept up, wickets continued to fall and Cuckfield were bowled out for 170 in the 48th over.
John Aston took 5-22 for Horsham.
Skipper Thornely was pleased with his side’s all-round performance, believing everyone played a vital role in securing the win.
He said: “I think we played brilliantly. Everybody chipped in and contributed.
“Tom Johnson’s explosive 25 off 17 balls was a really pivotal cameo. He came in and hit a few sixes and turned an okay score into something where the opposition has got to play exceptionally.
“Michael Munday, Will Beer, and Nick Oxley all bowled really well on an abrasive surface, and we managed to squeeze and control the scoring.
“We regularly picked up wickets and in the end it was a comfortable win.
“John bowled beautiful areas, made it difficult for the batsmen to score and deserved to get his first five-wicket haul for the club. It was a really good performance.
“It was really good to get a substantial score. I knew at the time that if I was batting I could just keep going.
“It was nice to contribute and I’m really enjoying batting with the captaincy role.”
Horsham’s next fixture see them take on Hastings & St Leonards Priory away from home this Saturday.