Copthorne Cricket Club
Third Division Copthorne Cricket Club finished a creditable 4th place in the five divisional Stoner Mid Sussex Cricket League. Having ended the season with 9 victories and 4 league defeats, promotion spots went to local Champions Smallfield and Preston Nomads IV but Copthorne can still reflect on some fine wins and some decent cricket.
Flannels were first sported on the first Saturday in May with a preseason curtain-raising friendly defeat to St Andrews but when the League matches started, Captain Stewart Cook’s troops got out the starting blocks in fine style with a low scoring victory against Roffey III. Abbas Zahid’s crucial 30 set up a win with 87 all out enough to take the points. Harshit Jain and Aanand Sharma took 9 wickets between them in dismissing Roffey for 44. Jain and Sharma were in inspired form all season and ended up sharing 65 wickets in their combined 298 overs. A couple of defeats followed at high-flying Smallfield and Lingfield in the Cup (although the latter was a tight nail-biter) before revenge was exacted against Lingfield in the league, Cook holding his nerve in the run chase with 48 not out. Dormansland was the tightest of draws, but a week later the team produced a fine performance against impressive Burgess Hill, dismissing the promotion hopefuls for 62 all out before beating the rain to win by 7 wickets. A defeat to Preston Nomads and a win against Balcombe completed the first round of matches after which the fixtures were reversed and Copthorne played host to those teams that had hosted them. In the Balcombe fixture there were notable performances from Humza Khan ((83) runs not age!) and Anand Sawant (64) with the bat plus four wickets for the impressive off-spin of Harsh Hemrajani.
The season run-in included some fine victories. Anand Sawant found some of the best batting form of his Copthorne career. His flashing blade was key away to Dormansland as it helped the team get over a clatter of wickets and finally win with ease. The best though came at relegated Balcombe who watched as he struck his first 50 off just 15 balls. It came as some relief that the tightly parked cars suffered no damage but there were lost balls aplenty. He went on to score 107 although Saqib Khan joined the party prior to the declaration to record 98 runs of his own, also in short order. The 318 for 7 declared is the highest score in recent history and may also be a club record.
Adam Rowe’s measured half century got lost within the mayhem but was the perfect foil for those around him to play expansively. Other notable performances with the bat was Doug Toms’ half-century at Lingfield and Jain’s highly watchable 37 not out against Dormansland. Jain and Sharma rightly deserve the bowling plaudits but there were other contributions. Ben Cook deserved his four wickets on the batting friendly wicket at Preston Nomads and Cook senior held the key to unlock the Balcombe tail, also returning home with four victims. Fielding remains an art in its own right though and Rowe’s wicketkeeping continues to improve.
Finally no season is complete without a mention to those who prepare the teas. Thanks again to Alison Worrall, Lorraine and Anna Cook, Harshit Jain, Pam Sawant and Paul Smart. And a final mention to Groundsman Adam Rowe whose dedication on the wicket allows us to get the games on in the first place!
Team photo – standing left to right – Bruce McCrea, Talha Khan, Abbas Zahid, Ben Cook, Harshit Jain, Adam Rowe, Humza Khan. Kneeling left to right – Stewart Cook, Anand Sawant, Aanand Sharma, Paul Smart Lying down – Anna Cook
enquiries about involvement can be made to the club secretary via CopthorneCricketClub@gmail.com.