Bexhill Cricket Club’s outside title hopes are all but over following a heavy defeat on Saturday.
Bexhill went down by eight wickets at home to reigning Sussex Premier League champions Roffey despite a fine individual performance by Shawn Johnson.
The hosts lost the toss and were inserted on a wicket which all the rain of the preceding days had got into.
And with the Roffey bowlers maintaining a good, disciplined line and length, Bexhill found it hard going despite good partnerships between the Johnson brothers, and Shawn Johnson and Ashar Zaidi.
At the mid-innings drinks break, Bexhill were looking okay with only two wickets down. And with their strongest side, including 10 frontline batsmen, they were hopeful of scoring 200+.
But an array of poor shots meant they were bowled out for 168 before their 58 overs were up. Shawn Johnson looked set for a big one, but got a debatable decision when on 65 off 113 balls with 13 fours. Zaidi battled it out for 27.
George Fleming remarkably bowled unchanged for 28 overs and took 7-72. Ben Manenti was Roffey’s other wicket-taker with 3-29 off 11.
The wicket had now dried out a lot and Bexhill’s bowling lacked the control of Roffey’s. The home cause also wasn’t helped by dropping a couple of simple chances.
With Rohit Jagota threatening the spectators with four huge sixes in an unbeaten 63 off 66 balls, it was soon all over. Roffey scored at more than four-per-over and got over the line with 12 overs to spare.
Theodore Rivers was 91 not out off 126 balls with 16 fours. Shawn Johnson was Bexhill’s only wicket-taker with 2-48 off 14 overs.
Roffey tweeted that Bexhill’s tea was the best away tea they’d had all season so thanks go to Mrs S. Guest for the wonderful spread.
Standings (played 16 matches unless stated): 1 East Grinstead 377pts, 2 Roffey (15) 351, 3 Preston Nomads 333, 4 BEXHILL 307, 5 Horsham 305, 6 Billingshurst 254, 7 Cuckfield 238, 8 Eastbourne 237, 9 Brighton & Hove 231, 10 Middleton 226.
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