After a competitive season in Div 3 East our twos, under James M and Oliver G, went into the last scheduled Sussex League match knowing that a good performance could have extended their season. They did just that!
An experienced Nomads squad turned up at St Peters (Preston Park) ready for a 12.45 start. The extra 15 mins was to allow the multitude of cyclists to clear the track. The lads looked purposeful and energised playing a bit of football then partaking in some high catching practice. The sky wonderfully clearing to reveal a deep blue with warm temperatures. The outfield resembled, after recent rains, semi rough which would make scoring a little tricky. But not for Baalaaj with the games shot of the day. A crisp pull over the scorer’s desk which neatly cannoned off the pavilion roof. St Peters, who held all the aces looked at the start of play looked a little ‘nervy’. James lost the toss, and we were inserted.
Ollie and Baalaaj set the tone with an excellent opening stand taking us past the magical 50 with out loss. Gatting rubberstamping a brilliant season up top with 25 runs. In all honesty it was quite tough out there in the 1st hour. Both players had to show real patience and craft as the balled nipped and at times stayed a little low. Khan, a lovely half century, demonstrated his real improvement as an opener. We all know he can produce the long handle, but he had to be very organised with his defence and leaves. He did get going! A huge straight 6 was followed by the champagne moment. A magnificently timed shot which came out of the screws. Both Zuni and I at the scorers table watched this thing fly straight over our heads and moments later hitting the pavilion roof with the satisfying ‘ting’. Its on whattsapp.
It then turned into the Aaron and Wakers show as St Ps went very much into their shell. Batting became a little easier as the pitch flattened out. Aaron smashed a six out of the park, literally! and hit a car parked in the street. Two hosts had to go hunting down the road. He made a stunning 67 ball 62 with no less than four maximums. Robert hit one of the most gorgeous cover drives you will see all season long on route to 32. Stuart Faith then took the game away. He found the track very much to his liking which allowed him to just swing through the line. Finding the middle time after time. He hit four 6s as St Ps were gasping for breath. 67 not out in the big total of 277 off 45 overs.
Any kind of St Peters response was dealt a serious blow in the 1st over as the ground fell silent. Their gun opening batters seemed to want to make a suicide run. A shot went straight to that man Faith who fired at the stumps for a direct hit. Doyle had to keep on running as the umpires finger went up. That seemed to signal a painful death for the hosts as the Nomads were treated to catching practice. St Peters just seemed to run out of petrol. In all the commotion Adam Ibraham showed why he received my 2022 Nomad Junior of the Year award. He bowled straight and true to record his first five wicket haul for the second team. Adam if you are reading huge congrats and keep em coming in 2024!
The hosts fell a massive 103 runs short as Nomads picked up 30 points.
James said later ‘we had to make some hard selection decisions as the availability was excellent. But it all worked out well and I am very pleased with the result. We couldn’t do anything about the Rottingdean situation, but we certainly got the job done here. Oliver and Baalaaj got us going and Stuart was amazing. Huge congrats to Adam, who patiently waited to get into the game. We can now look forward to extending our season onto next Saturday’
Baalaaj said after ‘I don’t want the season to end!!’
Bowman said ‘I am not quite sure what happened to the St Peters promotion tilt that day. But huge thanks to them for hosting. Good luck as you go again in 2024. As James alluded to our Twos are now in a winner takes all Div 3 play off clash against Steyning CC (venue to be decided) on 9th September. It will be a huge occasion for both clubs as a place in the ultra-competitive Div 1 is up for grabs. WE WANT THAT IN 2024 !!! I will put BHTFC to the back burner for another week to cover the game but hopefully a load of you will flock to come and have a watch. As to the game Stuart was brilliant Aaron fantastic and Adam groundbreaking. But for me Baalaaj is perhaps the most improved 2023 player at the SCMG. He has always been able to hit big but now he marries that with guile, patience and technique. Perhaps a Nomad 1st team opening bat one day??. He receives the man of the match award.
A very professional performance by the team!