Louis Storey smashed 134 to ensure East Preston Cricket Club continued their 100 per cent West Sussex Invitation League Division 2 start on Saturday.
Storey’s 134 came from 121 balls and included 16 fours and six sixes, as EP declared on 270-7 from 45 overs, after being asked to bat by Crawley Eagles’ 3rd XI.
Wickets were then shared around East Preston’s attack, with William Woodfine taking three, then Tom Chamberlain and Glenn Whitaker claiming two each to send Eagles crashing to a 98-run defeat as they were bowled out for 172.
The win helped EP open up a 28 point lead at the top of the Division 2 table after three games.
Impressed by his side’s early season form, East Preston skipper Gary Weedon does not want his side to get too carried away.
He said: “Promotion is the target but we will take it game-by-game.
“We want to really put the pressure on before the win/lose format matches start to kick in.
“It was really pleasing to get the win on Saturday, especially as we were missing four first-team players.
“We’ve got 15/16 players who can easily contribute in the first-team, we have bowling options and have runs in the batting line-up all the way down the order.
“We have never had the luxury of a ‘squad’ but I think this will be key to our success this season.
“Louis is in fantastic form and is a really promising talent. We have given him the opening role for a few years now and it is really starting to pay off.
“We know that Crawley like to come and play their shots, so putting a big total on the board to defend was important. We bowled well and picked up wickets with the pressure.”
East Preston were asked to bat first and openers Storey and skipper Weedon got them off to a flying start.
Weedon fell three short of a half-century but after his departure Whitaker kept the momentum going.
He and Storey shared a second-wicket stand of 107, before Whitaker went for 35.
Storey stuck around, smashing the ball to all parts, before he fell for 134.
James Sanderson struck 19 off 18 deliveries, before Weedon decided to declare with his side on 270-7 from 45 overs.
Opening bowlers Whitaker and Chamberlain picked up early wickets to reduce Crawley Eagles’ 3rd XI to 34-2.
Skipper and opener Ali Khan struck 32, while Majid Raja (21) and Waqas Hafiz (20) made starts but failed to progress further.
Zeeshan Khan, Crawley Eagles’ number eight, top-scored with 49 but that was not enough to prevent his side from being bowled out for 172 in 39.1 overs, as they fell 98 runs short.
Every East Preston bowler finished with at least a wicket to their name, with Woodfine leading the way with three.
East Preston travel to Balcombe in the league on Saturday.
Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.
4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!
The Littlehampton Gazette - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.