Hailsham started the new season cricket season with a friendly away at Laughton, who were opening their new pavilion.
With a very inexperienced and youthful team Hailsham won the toss and took to the field with a couple of new players amongst the ranks. New overseas player Varun Khullar (2-39) opened the bowling and straight away showed everyone what he is about, having captain Jamie Russell caught behind on the second ball only to be given as a front foot no ball. After that some poor catching and loose bowling allowed Laughton to get off to a flyer, with Bok Rahman (2-29) particularly spraying the ball around. New signing Billy Harris and Matt Dawber brought back some control for Hailsham, although no wicket was taken again through some slack catching. James McDonald (1-32) looked in good touch, with his leg spin coming out of the hand particularly well. Shibin Abraham (2-17) looked to have his bowling in great shape as he trapped to of the opposition LBW in his spell. At the halfway stage Laughton had set 205-7 from their 40 overs and Hailsham were left to think what could have been, if early catches had been held and the whole fielding effort had been a level higher.
Hailsham opened up with Billy Harris (10) and Robin Sewell (1) and were straight away faced with some tight accurate bowling from the Laughton openers. Early wickets and some confused calling in the middle saw Hailsham slip to 28-4 before Khullar (49) and Jaz Walder (16) put together a 64 run partnership with Khullar particularly striking the ball cleanly and to all points of the ground, including five maximums. After he was caught on the boundary wickets again started falling quickly with no batsman below number 6 scoring above 1 run. Hailsham were finally dismissed for a disappointing 99 all out to leave Laughton well deserved and worthy winners.
Captain Wilkinson said: “We were totally outplayed today by Laughton who were sharper and in a lot more control of their game today than us. Positives were James and Shibin’s bowling and the clean striking of Varun in the middle order. A lot of work is needed in the coming weeks, to get all aspects of the game to where they need to be. The West Terrace Dental Practice man of the match went to Varun Khullar for scoring a destructive 49 runs and taking 2 wickets on his Hailsham debut.”