Batsman smashes 185 in 20 overs

7/5/11- Sidley Cricket Club.  Paul Nice.  Photo by Steve Hunnisett
7/5/11- Sidley Cricket Club. Paul Nice. Photo by Steve Hunnisett
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Paul Nice had us hunting for cricket records after producing an extraordinary display of batting.

The 36-year-old smashed 185 not out playing for Bodiam away to Westfield in the midweek T20 competition formerly known as the Observer Cup.

He said: “It was just a blur at the time, but everything seemed to hit the middle of the bat and go for four or six or get me up the other end for the next over.”

Hastings-based Nice faced just 66 balls, and struck 23 fours and 12 sixes. He shared in an opening partnership of 195 with Pat Grace (70) as Bodiam amassed 274-1 and Nice, in fact, scored more than the entire Westfield team.

Bodiam captain Richard Reardon said: “It was pretty belligerent. It’s quite a small ground and I was in the bushes most of the time trying to find the balls. It’s just a shame he couldn’t have done it more for us, otherwise we might still be in the competition!”

The left-hander didn’t take long to get his eye in, striking his second ball to the boundary and carrying on in the same dominant fashion. Nice’s tally was completed by 17 singles and a pair of twos. There were just 12 dots.

The local midweek evening competitions date back to 1950 and up until last year were run by the Hastings & District Cricket Association. Its former secretary, Mike Griffiths, couldn’t recall such a massive score.

They are now run by the East Area Cricket Association. Roger Newman, of EACA, said: “I would imagine that’s got to be some sort of record, I can’t imagine anyone getting anywhere near that.”

Also an accomplished wicketkeeper, Nice has scored 150 runs in four Sussex Division Three (East) innings for Sidley this season with two half-centuries, including a best of 87 not out against Burgess Hill on April 30.