Hastings sit top at league's halfway stage after comfortable victory over Ifield

Hastings bowler John Morgan. Picture by Simon Newstead.
Hastings bowler John Morgan. Picture by Simon Newstead.

Hastings bowler John Morgan has praised Hastings’ ‘patient’ and ‘sensible’ victory over Ifield after they ran out comfortable winners over a stuttering Ifield side.

After the reasonably simple four wicket victory, Morgan hailed his team’s ‘control’ on the game, but admitted the win might have been easier if key players weren’t missing from the order. Also, Morgan rued the loss of six wickets, labelling the amount as ‘disappointing’.

He said: “It was disappointing to lose as many wickets as we did in the end, as for the majority of the run chase we were batting well and were well in control of chasing down the 176. But to be fair to Ifield, and in particular Prasansana Jayamanne, they bowled well on a turning wicket.

“Tom (Gillespie) and I batted sensibly to knock off the final 10 runs after we lost the three quick wickets after excellent innings from Joe Billings (46), Elliot Hooper (42) and Ricardo De Nobrega (33), who was building on his outstanding 132 against St James last week.

“We probably missed Jake Woolley and Greig Devlin , both away away on holiday, who have been in fine form with the bat this season.”

Ifield’s overseas star Jayamanne made Hastings’ task much tougher than it otherwise would have been, scoring an unbeaten 109 and taking three wickets for 51 runs, and Hastings bowler Morgan praised the Sri Lankan’s performance, although remained defiant that his team would always have found a way to win.

He said: “He batted well and didn’t give a chance all game, although it could have been a different story if a fast Adam Barton in-swinging Yorker which was right in front of all three stumps wasn’t a no-ball (rightly called by the umpire). The innings was off over 150 balls so if you were being slightly critical, you could say they missed out on maybe a par score of over 200.”

Morgan also praised his own bowlers, emphasising the variety of options they have and expressing pleasure with how they performed ‘as a team’. Not only were they close to bowling Ifield out, but they also minimised the ‘bad bowls’ that they delivered, easing their side to victory.

He continued: “As a team, like the week before at St James, we bowled well with very few bad bowls for easy boundaries. That’s something we identify as key, making the batsmen earn their boundaries. Jed (O’Brien) bowled well and fully deserved his five wicket haul, taking him to 15 in the league now.

“With Jed, Elliot and Jack Coleman, we have good spin options, and with Adam Barton, myself and hopefully a fit again Adam Pye, we see our bowling as a solid unit.”

Hastings’ bowling was more than solid as they shrugged Ifield aside, restricting any bowlers besides Jayamanne and Daniel Groves from surpassing 20.

They had Ifield at 175-9 after 53 overs, and completed the chase for just six wickets after 37.4 overs, meaning they stay top of the league heading into the second half of the season.