Seven wickets for Paul Brookes couldn’t prevent Crowhurst Park’s cricketers being beaten on Saturday.
Park began the second half of their Sussex Cricket League Division Three campaign with a low scoring defeat away to Chichester Priory Park.
Park lost the toss and were asked to bowl first only. Despite starting with only 10 men, Clive Tong and Brookes relished the challenge, reducing Chichester to 33-2 with a wicket each.
Tong and Brookes continued their form and picked up wickets consistently, putting Park on top with the score 56-4. A steady partnership in the middle overs between Sam Harvey (35) and George Perry (21) pushed the score up to 108 until Harvey fell to Brookes, hitting a low flat catch to Joe Lovell at midwicket.
Brookes picked up another wicket with the very next ball, having Peter Lamb caught by Dale Payne at second slip. The hat-trick at the start of Brookes’ next over was blocked back to him.
Park kicked on again with Brookes picking up more wickets to reduce Chichester to 119-8. The Chichester batsmen had trouble picking up the movement in the air and off the pitch, three of them leaving the ball only to have their off stump taken.
Chichester’s skipper Jonathon Heaven (27 not out) and the rest of the lower order put up strong resistance before Tong brought himself back on and cleaned up Matthew Geffen (6) to leave Chichester all out for a very gettable 160. Tong finished with good figures of 12.3-2-50-3, while the superb Brookes took 22-5-50-7.
Park were on the back foot early on in their reply, sliding to 2-2 with Dale Payne (1) and Ben Phillimore (0) falling to Geffen (12.4-4-33-3) and Heaven (7-2-12-1).
Joel Bruun and Lovell looked to settle the team down, and things looked to be going Park’s way with Bruun scoring runs at one end and Lovell ticking along at the other.
The momentum swung back against Park, however, when a firm edge from Bruun (16) was parried by second slip straight into the hands of third slip to leave Park 30-3.
Lovell (8) was trapped lbw in the next over by new bowler Robert Carver (10-2-37-5) and when Ed Smissen was run out without scoring, the score was 33-5.
The only real fight seemed to come from skipper Tong, who provided a flurry in the middle overs to move Park on to 65 before being dismissed by Carver for 24. Park had nothing to shout about in the next few overs as more batsmen were dismissed for low scores, leaving them 72-9.
Park’s last wicket stand between Fox Parker (19) and Jon Peters (15) looked promising with both batsmen scoring well and frustrating Chichester until Parker fell lbw, leaving them all out for 108.
Seventh-placed Park will seek to get back to winning ways when they host bottom-of-the-table Crawley in a key game this coming Saturday.
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