Promotion race back on with Billingshurst up to third as winning run extends

Bexhill v Billingshurst cricket action - Stuart Barber batting for Billingshurst SUS-180408-180915002
Bexhill v Billingshurst cricket action - Stuart Barber batting for Billingshurst SUS-180408-180915002

Billingshurst moved back up to third in Division 2 and propelled themselves back into the promotion race with victory at Bexhill.

A third-straight success – this time by 14 runs at The Polegrove – has propelled ’Hurst back in the mix for a top-two finish.

In a tight game, they eased to victory to move 29 points behind second-placed Three Bridges, with Mayfield out of reach at the top of the table.

Billingshurst posted 207-9 after recovering from 65-5 and declared in the 52nd over, having been asked to bat by their hosts.

Ben Williams then claimed 5-71 with the ball as Bexhill were bowled out for 194 in the 46th over, despite at one stage requiring 18 runs for victory with three wickets left.

After passing the 50 mark, at 52-2, Billingshurst lost three wickets for 13 runs as Stuart Barber (nine), Scott Stratton (13) and Paul Osborne (duck) fell in quick succession.

Back-to-back 50 partner-ships, however, got Billingshurst back on track – Jake Cross smashed 49 off 31 balls with nine fours and a six before being dismissed in unusual fashion, hitting his own wicket.

That ended a sixth-wicket stand of 57 between Cross and Andrew Miller (32), who then put on 63 for the seventh wicket with Andy Barr (34) to leave Billingshurst 175-7. The eighth and ninth wickets went down with the score 186.

Shane West (13 not out) and Ben Williams (7 not out) added 21 important runs for the final wicket to get Billingshurst past the 200 mark.

Bexhill got off to the worst possible start as Neil Blatchly was caught off the first ball of the innings and they were soon at 33-3.

Burgon and Johnson helped get things back on track by adding 47 for the fourth wicket until Johnson fell for 16. Cameron Burgon (49) and Johnathan Haffenden (16) put on 35 for the fifth wicket before Burgon departed.

Bexhill looked in trouble at 124-6, but they advanced to 150-7 and hopes of victory were raised by an eighth-wicket partnership of 40 between Matt Peters (29) and Joseph Saro (13).

Both were dismissed in quick succession and Bexhill’s fate was sealed soon after.

’Hurst play Bognor on Saturday, while at the top of the table, Bridges host Mayfield.