Bexhill suffer first defeat

Callum Guest took a wicket with the ball and scored 31 with the bat for Bexhill against Ifield
Callum Guest took a wicket with the ball and scored 31 with the bat for Bexhill against Ifield

Bexhill suffered their first defeat of the Sussex Cricket League Division Two season at Ifield on Saturday.

In fact, Bexhill picked up just two points from a nightmare afternoon in Crawley as the calculated gamble of winning the toss and fielding - which has served them well lately - for once backfired.

Raza Ali had already passed 50 by the time Callum Guest took the first wicket of Tom Wragg (23), but Bexhill continued to struggle in the field and it wasn’t until Ali went for 119 that they started to make progress.

Greg Barton and Luke Morris went quickly, but Paul Clifford’s 60 allowed Ifield to reach 236-5 declared. The fit-again Andrew Williams was the pick of the bowlers with 3-55, while Joe Cox was the other wicket-taker.

In response, Bexhill struggled against a good set of bowlers who gave up just five extras during the innings. Captain Malcolm Johnson top-scored with 32, but the visitors couldn’t get many decent partnerships to form and they fell way short, ending all out on 142 from less than 39 overs.

Bexhill slip two places to fourth and they have a huge game at home to unbeaten leaders Eastbourne next weekend. For a full report on the game, see Friday’s Bexhill Observer.