NETHERFIELD picked up their first win of the season as pro Cobus Pienaar struck an unbeaten century to deliver a maximum-point success over Preston.
It was a slow start for Field as number two Ben Haddrick was out for a duck, swinging and missing at Preston pro Lukman Vahaluwala’s ball, which hit middle stump.
And in the seventh over Marc Brown was caught by wicket keeper Charlie Williams off Vahaluwala, leaving the home side on 23-2.
But in stepped Pienaar and he looked in great shape for his 100 before he declared in the 47th over, striking one of his two sixes nonchalantly to deep square leg as Netherfield upped the run rate in the 12th over.
Chris Williams run himself out on five to make it 57-3, and John Huck was caught by Sajid Nalaband off I Palidwala for eight with the score at 90-4 in the 21st over.
But John Mason and Chris Parry provided superb support for the South African as Netherfield posted a high score.
Mason contributed 60 and put on a partnership of 83 with Pienaar in a 48-minute stand, and Parry’s 45 put Nethefield on 250-6 before the Netherfield captain was bowled by Vahaluwala.
Preston’s 12 no-balls also contributed significantly to Netherfield’s final score of 254-6, which was declared by Pienaar once he had reached his 100 in the 47th over.
Netherfield’s bowlers proved too hot for Preston to handle, and by the 14th over they were reduced to 43-6. Stuart Nixon claimed the crucial wicket of Vahaluwala, with Brown catching him on 16 as Preston toiled to keep up with Netherfield.
A prolific three-over spell between the fourth and seventh proved to be the catalyst to victory, Chris Williams getting Nalaband and Shaukat Dukanwala out in the sixth over. The visitors during that period went from 10-0 to 20-4.
Preston’s number seven batter Charlie Williams added 24 to the score, while number 10 Usman Alam posted 23, but the visitors had given themselves too much to do, and they were never going to get near Netherfield’s total of 254.
Preston were all out for 113, Chris Williams notching up figures of 4/25. Mason will also have been happy with his bowling, he got three maidens off the three overs he was asked to complete for Field.
Meanwhile, Netherfield’s match on Sunday was called off, with Freckleton conceding the game, so they travel to Leyland in round two of the ECB Kingfisher Beer Cup this Sunday.