Hywel Jones starred as Steyning Cricket Club won their opening game of the Sussex League Division 3 season away to Findon on Saturday.
Jones hit 99 with the bat, before collecting six wickets as his side edged to an 11-run victory.
Steyning skipper David Kennett won the toss and decided to bat first. That looked to be the right decision as his side reached 232 for seven and declared from 52.5 overs.
Bradley Bridson got Findon off to a flyer in their reply and at one stage they found themselves 133-2. However, a excellent bowling display in the latter stages ensured Kennett’s side clinched an opening-day league win.
Steyning’s skipper was pleased to come away with the victory and said: “It was really important to start the season with a win and we’ve managed that.
“We have got a tough run of fixtures coming up, so to win the first game was nice.
“Findon are a good side and it’s never easy to play against them, especially when they’re at home.
“We stuck to our task well, posted a good total and backed each other up in the field.
“Hywel was magnificent for us, he got 99 and that was only the second time he has picked up a bat this season.
“He’s missed a lot of the winter training but his innings was crucial for us.
“Ed (Lamb) and Andrew (Simmons) then did well down the order to get us up to 230.
“Their skipper (Bradley Bridson) was hitting everything early on and they were going at eight an over at one stage but we pulled it back in the middle overs, then went on to to win.”
Things did not start well for Steyning as opener Christopher Barnett fell for one to leave his side 9-1.
Jones steadied the ship and a stand of 98 with Gary Hunt (27) got them back on track.
But back came Findon, with both Toby Glover and Kennett falling for ducks to leave Steyning 136 for five.
However, Jones went on to make 99, while Lamb smashed a quickfire 46 and Simmons ended unbeaten on 41 as Steyning reached 232 for seven before declaring.
Curtis Howell led the way with the ball and picked up three wickets for Findon.
Bridson got his side’s response off to a fast start as he crashed 68 from just 63 balls to give Findon hope.
Mark Solway batted well for his 48 and the home side were well placed on 133 for two when Bridson went.
Howell, with 17, was the next highest scorer for Findon as they were eventually all out for 221 in 44.2 overs.
Once again, it was that man Jones who led the way for Steyning as he ended with impressive figures of 6-71 from 16.2 overs.
He was well backed up by Glover, who claimed four wickets for 46 runs from 13 overs as Steyning made the perfect start to their league campaign.
Steyning will be looking to make it back-to-back successes when they host local rivals Portslade in Division 3 on Saturday.
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