Iain cracks unbeaten 207

History was made at Selmeston on Saturday when opening batsman Iain Hardcastle smashed 207 not out from just 151 balls as the hosts piled up 314-2 against neighbours Alfriston, who were dismissed for 134.

Hardcastle's massive personal tally shattered the club's own batting record, previously held by Hastings stalwart Jason Finch, and is believed to be the highest individual score in the 100-year history of the Cuckmere Valley.

The opening stand of 170 shared with Bill Filby (48) is probably a new club record for Selmeston & Alciston, who will be celebrating their bicentenary season next year.

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Remarkably the first two overs of the afternoon were both maidens and, given that Hardcastle was also struck a nasty blow on the head by a delivery that reared from just short of a length, the early exchanges gave no hint of the carnage to follow.

The visitor'ss opening attack included Sussex colt James Austin, who bowled a tidy spell (9-1-31-1) and exploited the helpful pitch conditions to produce several menacing deliveries.

It became a different story at the other end as a succession of bowlers were unable to stem the flow of runs as Hardcastle peppered the boundary with seven sixes and 24 fours.

The 23-year-old, who played a few games for Hampshire 2nd XI as a youngster, showed his true colours for the first time since arriving at the village club last year with a consummate display of controlled aggression.

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He scored at a brisk rate (100 off 78 balls and 200 off 151 balls) without really taking any undue risks and by the end had batted the entire innings without offering a single catching opportunity to the Alfriston fielders.

Hardcastle lives in Eastbourne and is a student at Brighton University studying sports science.

He said: 'It was my best-ever score and it was nice to be able to build an innings. It was also a great day for the club.'