Bexhill go top of league after splendid win
Bexhill's cricketers sit proudly on top of the fledgling Sussex Premier League table.
Johnathan Haffenden’s side made it two maximum points league wins out of two with a 47-run victory at home to last season’s runners-up East Grinstead yesterday (Saturday).
Aidan Brooker became what is thought to be Bexhill’s first overseas player to take five wickets on his debut and it was the first time overseas players have taken five wickets in Bexhill’s first two league games of a season (coach Sam Roberts also took five at Billingshurst the previous weekend).
Bexhill lost the toss and were asked to bat on a windy day at The Polegrove, but did well to accrue maximum batting points, finishing their 58 overs on 227-6.
The hosts lost openers Tim Hambridge (8) and Malcolm Johnson (22) with the score 30, but Luke Youngs and Callum Guest forged a century partnership for the third wicket for the second successive game (thought to be another club first).
Having put on 197 together against Billingshurst, this time they added 120. Youngs hit 59 with nine fours (taking his run tally to 178 in two games) and Guest made 70 with seven boundaries (taking his tally to 154 in two matches).
Although they departed within 14 runs of each other, Shawn Johnson made a useful run-a-ball 22 before Haffenden (29 not out) and Ethan Guest (14 not out) put on 42 undefeated runs for the seventh wicket at the end of the innings.
After tea, Bexhill’s opening bowlers got stuck in and Grinstead were in a spot of bother at 30-3 after Brooker dismissed both openers and Shawn Johnson caught the number three off his own bowling.
Although number four Tim Cummins offered defiance with a game-high 78, wickets fell steadily at the other end as Bexhill never allowed partnerships to build.
Number eight Ian Sturmer (14) and number nine Bradley Hatchett (24 not out) were the only Grinstead batsmen other than Cummins to score more than 11 and the visitors were all out for 180 in 49.1 overs.
Brooker was the star of the Bexhill bowlers with 5-44 from 14.5 overs, but all the bowlers chipped in wickets. Nick Peters took 2-44 from nine overs, Shawn Johnson 1-51 from 16, Joe Cox 1-11 off six and Callum Guest 1-21 off four.
Standings (played 2 matches unless stated): BEXHILL 60pts, Roffey 60, Preston Nomads 41, Cuckfield (3) 40, HASTINGS PRIORY 40, Horsham 37, Brighton & Hove 33, East Grinstead 31, Worthing 30, Billingshurst 8.
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