Crowhurst Park’s cricketers were denied a second successive league win by a remarkable last wicket stand.
Park looked set to complete a routine victory at home to Findon in Sussex Cricket League Division Two on Saturday until the visitors’ last pair survived 17 overs to hold on for a draw.
Park totalled 183-9 from 53 overs after losing the toss and being asked to bat. Both openers were back in the pavilion with only 29 on the board, but Kellen Powell inspired a recovery with help from Bradley Payne (10) and Clive Tong (34).
Tong, however, became the first of three batsmen to depart for the addition of only two runs as Park found themselves 101-6. Pete Beaumont made a useful 18 before three more wickets went down for six runs, the last of which was Powell for an excellent 67, to make the score 143-9.
Cameron Flanagan (25 not out) and Nick Peters (15 not out) forged a very handy unbroken last wicket stand of 40 as Park successfully batted out their overs. Curtis Howell was the most successful Findon bowler with 5-41.
Findon got off to a reasonable start in reply with a first wicket partnership of 25 which was ended by Bradley Payne. There followed a remarkable collapse with eight wickets going down for 27 runs as Findon slumped from 40-1 to 67-9.
Park skipper Paul Brookes did the bulk of the damage, following up his 7-25 in the previous weekend’s win over Goring-By-Sea with 6-31 from 22 overs, 10 of which were maidens. Flanagan and Peters chipped in with a wicket each.
A home win looked to be virtually a foregone conclusion, but Findon had other ideas with captain James Iago (38 not out) and Gary Howell (8 not out) stubbornly withstanding everything Park could throw at them to earn an improbable draw, finishing on 106-9.
Standings (all played five matches): 1 Middleton 148pts, 2 St James’s Montefiore 111, 3 Worthing 98, 4 Billingshurst 70, 5 CROWHURST PARK 69, 6 Ifield 67, 7 Findon 61, 8 Lindfield 61, 9 Chichester Priory Park 57, 10 Goring-By-Sea 49.