No Norwegian conquest as Bexhill triumph

Bexhill hosted the Norwegian national side on Sunday in a one-off cricketing special as the Scandinavian side warmed-up for the ICC European T20 Championship Division One.

It is believed to the first ever international cricket match to take place in the town, and Malcolm Johnson’s side ran out winners in both matches of a double header played in glorious sunshine at The Polegrove.

In true T20 custom, a white ball and black sightscreens were used. The teams played in coloured clothing, while music accompanied both the passing of boundaries and falling of wickets.

After town mayor Cllr Frances Winterborn conducted the coin toss, Norway batted first in the opening match and limped to 45-6 after 15 overs before rallying slightly to 91 all out. Safir Hayat top-scored with 20, while Joe Cox and Jamie Wicks claimed two wickets each with the ball.

It took just 15.1 overs for Bexhill to comfortably chase down their target for the loss of five wickets. Tom Powell (17 not out) and Callum Guest (15 not out) steered Bexhill home after Jack Richardson and Angus Cox had scored 14 apiece. Damon Crawford took 2-17.

After lunch in a marquee, the players resumed battle, with Dave Brown - vice principal of Bexhill 6th Form College, the club’s main sponsor - orchestrating the toss.

This time, with four changes to the line-up of the first game, the hosts batted first in what turned out to be a much closer run affair. Cameron Burgon’s 63 from 39 balls included 10 sixes, while Johnson hit 24 and Angus Cox scored 19 from just seven deliveries as Bexhill reached 166-6.

Norway came up just shy of their target on 158-7 with Bighitah hitting 45, Ul Haq 34 and Iftikhar 23 from 19 balls. Neil Blatchly (2-22) and Wicks (2-30) were the leading bowlers, while Guest effected a trio of run outs. Bexhill & Battle MP Greg Barker was also present.