Bexhill suffer first league defeat

Aidan Brooker took three wickets with the ball and top-scored with the bat in the defeat to HorshamAidan Brooker took three wickets with the ball and top-scored with the bat in the defeat to Horsham
Aidan Brooker took three wickets with the ball and top-scored with the bat in the defeat to Horsham

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Bexhill Cricket Club's first team suffered its first Sussex Premier League defeat of the season on Saturday.

Despite getting off to a fast start with the ball, Bexhill were soundly beaten by 183 runs at home to table-topping Horsham.

The day started in the worst way with Bexhill captain Johnathan Haffenden getting stuck under a sightscreen while trying to erect it.

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An ambulance was called and Haffenden was okay, but not fit to play so some quick calls were made and Will Edwards was drafted in from the third XI.

Having lost the toss and been sent out to field, Bexhill quickly reduced Horsham to 3-2 as Aidan Brooker (17-2-48-3) had both openers caught by Edwards.

Bexhill continued to pick up wickets at steady intervals as they went about their business in a professional manner and all looked okay with Horsham 86-5.

There followed, however, a fifth wicket partnership of 143 between Thomas Haines and Jofra Archer which completely changed the game.

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The 50-odd cars in The Polegrove were targeted by Archer, who smashed 128 from 78 balls with eight huge sixes (two into the hedge by the bowls green) and 14 fours in a superb display of hitting.

Bexhill’s bowlers lost their discipline and could not regain control, but Joe Cox stuck at it to take 5-63 and Brooker - the pick of the bowlers - 3-48 in 17 overs. Horsham were all out for 276 in 54.3 overs.

Without three of their regular top five batsmen, Bexhill faced an uphill battle and gave arguably the worst batting display for several seasons.

Only Brooker (25), and promoted Edwards (20) and James Walker (19 not out) showed much gumption as the other eight batsmen made 29 between them. Bexhill were bowled out for 93 in 27.5 overs, although they did at least pick up 10 points for their efforts with the ball. Michael Munday was the most successful Horsham bowler with 4-21.

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Standings (played four matches unless stated): 1 Horsham (5) 107pts, 2 Cuckfield (5) 80, 3 BEXHILL 72, 4 Preston Nomads 72, 5 East Grinstead 71, 6 Roffey 70, 7 Brighton & Hove 63, 8 Worthing (5) 55, 9 HASTINGS PRIORY 51, 10 Billingshurst 28.

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