Crawley Eagles knocked off top of league by Stirlands

Crawley Eagles V Haywards Heath - Atif Ali bowling for Eagles and taking the wicket of Ryan Brown (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140906-104913002
Crawley Eagles V Haywards Heath - Atif Ali bowling for Eagles and taking the wicket of Ryan Brown (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140906-104913002

Crawley Eagles were knocked off the top of the league when they were held to a draw by bottom of the table Stirlands.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first the Eagles innings never gained momentum.

With regular breaks for an unexpected storm on the south coast the Eagles wickets fell as regularly as the rain and only Tufail (26), Amaar (19), Imran (13), Fazlan (12) and Hamid (11) managed double figures.

Within the readjusted 42-over allocation Eagles mustard a lacklustre 117 all out.

In reply Stirlands’ innings was rocked by the Eagles pacemen as Adil Mustapha (3/30) and Atif Ali (4/14) charged in from the off and blew the Stirlands top order away.

With Stirlands struggling at 77/7 and six overs to play Eagles were forced by the league umpires to take off their pace bowlers in what appeared to be clear and bright conditions. The Eagles’ spinners were further thwarted and the match was eventually drawn.

Crawley Eagles captain Imran Suddahazai said: “Today was a real test of our character as a team and as individuals. We think that we have not so much as lost 30 points but were challenged in not being able to acquire them as easily as we would have liked.

“We need to improve our batting that’s a given but the pace with which Adil and especially

Atif bowled was simply outstanding. So we are growing as a unit with some very fine players and look forward to the rest of the season with some optimism.”

Crawley Eagles travel to Rottingdean CC first XI on Saturday.