Bexhill up to third after terrific turnaround
Bexhill's cricketers moved up to third in the Sussex Premier League on the back of their eighth win of the season.
Callum Guest scored 94 with the bat, while Josh Beeslee made an unbeaten 60 and then took five wickets with the ball to clinch a 94-run victory away to Worthing yesterday (Saturday).
Bexhill amassed 256-9 declared after winning the toss and choosing to bat on a dry wicket under a cloudless sky with the sun beating down.
The players and umpires took the field only for the home side to discover they had no new ball, as required by league rules. After a 14-minute delay with much discussion, it was decided to use Bexhill's ball.
Bexhill, whose captain Johnathan Haffenden promoted himself to open the batting, slumped to 20-2 and 45-4. Shawn Johnson (12) edged past 500 runs for the season before getting a beauty which few would've got a touch to.
Sam Roberts and Guest repaired some of the early damage by adding 63 for the fifth wicket before Roberts was contentiously given out lbw for 30.
Some ill-disciplined shots left Bexhill in real trouble at 127-8 before steely-eyed man of the match Beeslee strode to the wicket and broke the hearts of Worthing with a club record ninth wicket partnership in league cricket of 114 (the previous best was 98).
For such a young man, 20-year-old Guest batted like an old pro, guiding Beeslee along. Guest reached his 50 in 84 balls (with five fours) before departing for 94 in 129 balls.
Beeslee was on 45 when Guest departed and proceeded to go on the attack, reaching his maiden 50 for the first XI and finishing 60 not out in 86 balls (with seven fours), allowing Haffenden to declare two overs early.
After a nice tea, Johnson (8-1-37-2) and Joe Cox (6-1-35-1) picked up an wicket each to leave Worthing 34-2.
The spinners then took over. Beeslee opened his account with the ball to make it 58-3 before Bexhill picked up three wickets for six runs to leave Worthing 80-6, Beeslee taking two of them and Johnson dismissing Matthew Green for 47 off 53 balls.
Despite some dropped catches and some valiant lower order resistance, Bexhill went on to bowl Worthing out for 162 in 33.2 overs. Beeslee finished with 5-38 - his third five-wicket haul of the season - and fellow spinner Roberts claimed 2-48.
Still the drama was not over. Having left the ground, Bexhill had travelled five minutes down the road when Roberts received a phone call from Haffenden, who had hit a kerb and got a big hole in his front tyre.
Haffenden did not have a wheel spanner so Roberts turned back, but the one in his car didn't fit Haffenden's so the skipper ended up borrowing one from the house he had stopped outside. After half-an-hour, everyone was back on the road.
Sussex Premier League standings (played 15 matches unless stated): 1 Cuckfield 310pts, 2 Roffey (14) 299, 3 BEXHILL (14) 281, 4 Horsham 270, 5 HASTINGS PRIORY 254, 6 East Grinstead 237, 7 Preston Nomads 237, 8 Brighton & Hove 189, 9 Billingshurst 174, 10 Worthing 123.
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