Skipper Dan Phillips took his team north today to the splendid surrounds of Clair Park Haywards Heath for their latest 2021 Sussex Premier League adventure. In damp cool conditions it might of been top verses bottom however the hosts didn’t just fade in to the gloom. Haywards Heath can be rightly proud of putting up a gutsy performance but it was the Nomads who ultimately held a majority of the aces. Including what I would describe as a World Class performance by our wonderful New Zealander and Director of Junior cricket Navin Patel.
On arrival to the ground this morning all eyes were on the toss. With conditions to suit it was an achingly a bowl first situation. You got the feeling in quite heavy air and dampness around the early ball was going to do something. Haywards Heath won the toss and the Nomads were duly inserted. Our successful opening pair were at it again. This time against those bowler friendly conditions battled to 19 without loss. Not the amount of previous weeks but still very valuable. Dan I, at three took the crease with Jake, fresh from 162 not out and took the score to 85 for 2. The top order had done its job with Jake scoring a wonderful 67 off 48 balls. His 50 came up with a perfectly timed straight 6. Then both Liam (20) and Ibraham had the engine room ticking over with a 59 run partnership. The skipper himself played the appropriate role by striding in and smashing 7 quick boundaries on route to 38. Danny I, who recently scored a half century at Headingly on Sussex debut, went on to score 65 before an unfortunate run out. Stuart Faith put on 15 runs , the icing to a competitive score of 241 all out of 51 overs. Heath spinner, Jonny Phelps would of been pleased with his figures of 5 for 56 off 12 overs.
In reply it was was Navin Patel who immediately caught the eye with his pace, accuracy and bounce off the wicket. His deliveries were constant and sustained, moving off the pitch and sweeping past top of off with alarming regularity. To coin a phase his deliveries were ‘in the corridor of uncertainty’. He took his 1st wicket with Heath on 5. Later in his spell Henry Sims looked to have guided one straight into Jake’s waiting gloves but the umpire didn’t give it. Not deterred Nav simply did it all over again next ball, you guessed it he got his man. With three quick boundary’s from Phelps Heath were still looking for a win but when Adam got him (Patel Catch) they went into draw mode.
The game went attritional with Heath desperately looking for that draw with the Nomads hunting down the remaining wicket. Dan I took a wicket with his first ball on route to 30 for 3 off 7 overs. With overs to play with, slowly but surely our spinners got the job done. Kash clean bowled Chris Blunt admit huge celebration. It was left to Adam O to continue his spell binding form. Taking the final wicket and figures of 3 for 34 off a monster 14 overs.
The Nomads Taking a well deserved 30 points.
Bowman said ‘in all my 7 seasons with the Nomads that performance today goes down as the most gutsy and hard working performance thus far. Away from home, against a team fighting for its life and difficult conditions it was a day for sustained hard work, teamwork and getting the basics right. If we had failed to do any of those things today the result could easily have been totally different. In my humble opinion that Navin Patel spell would not have been out of place in a New Zealand test match. It was an incredible watch! Nav if you are reading you are my Man of the Match’