Saturday May 30 – Sussex Premier League
Billingshurst v Horsham
Billingshurst 142 all out (41.2 overs) Horsham 131 all out (42.4 overs)
Billingshurst won by 11 runs
In an thrillingly tense low-scoring game at Jubilee Fields both sides created promising platforms only to collapse spectacularly, Billingshurst holding their nerve to strangle victory with a tight bowling and fielding performance.
After Billingshurst won the toss openers Stuart Barber (40) and evergreen Scott Stratton (30) raised hopes of a challenging total until, following their dismissals on the spin friendly wicket, 82-1 subsided to 117-6. Michael Munday’s mystery wiles earned him 4-40, featuring an excellent second attempt catch by John Burroughs, during 27 tormenting overs in tandem with Ben Shoare (4-30). A suicidal run out brought the innings to a close at 142, around 50 short of earlier expectations. Horsham were happiest at tea, but their fragile batting returned to haunt them.
An early wicket fell, Ben Shoare penalised for flashing wildly, amid playing and missing during a lively opening spell from Andy Barr. But at 46-1 there was nothing to suggest that with 68 overs available to overhaul a modest total Horsham would succumb so readily.
With Craig Gallagher at the helm, top scoring with 41 – including an upper cut six behind square – a Horsham win beckoned. However, four catches from Ben Williams – including two smart ones off his own bowling – led the tigerish Billingshurst fielding display as Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi (6-47) systematically worked his way through the upper order before attending to the tail. Among 10 Hurst maidens, injudicious forays down the wicket proved fatal, and although Nathan Roberts was unbeaten on 20 from 67 balls, team mates came and went with alarming regularity. Despite an obdurate last wicket partnership, Jonathan Whiting batting with a runner after injuring himself while completing an earlier catch, there was to be no recovery from 116-9. Sussex’s Chris Liddle eventually castled the number 11 before Chief destroyer Danushka said: “It turns here, especially in the second innings, so I thought we could defend 142 if we bowled as well as we have been. We’ve got ten home games and if we can post 200 then we should do well here.”
Andy Barr added: “We really wanted to win this and buzzed around creating pressure. Getting an early wicket set the tone!” Ecstatic captain Ben Williams told us: “We let ourselves down with the bat but we gave it everything in the field. Horsham were 91-3 so there was definitely something in it for the batsmen. We’ve got a proper team spirit going and it’s great to have Chris Liddle here – he’s fitted in so well helping with the younger players.”
The jubilation of Hurst’s players and supporters contrasted the much more circumspect Horsham camp, skipper Sam Attfield saying: “We bowled well and their total was gettable but our batting was very poor – it’s been brittle for a while and we need to have a serious look at ourselves.”
On Saturday June 6 Horsham in need of a win host struggling newcomers Middleton while Billingshurst visit league leaders Brighton & Hove.
Scorecard link – http://sussexcl.play-cricket.com/website/results/2356449