Bexhill thrash Eastbourne in T20

Shawn Johnson took five wickets as Bexhill reached the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup semi-finals
Shawn Johnson took five wickets as Bexhill reached the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup semi-finals

Bexhill’s cricketers thrashed local rivals Eastbourne in T20 action at The Polegrove yesterday (Sunday).

Bexhill cruised to an eight-wicket victory in a game which lasted less than 21 overs to book their place in the Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup semi-finals.

Eastbourne won the toss and chose to bat, but were shot out for just 60 in 12.4 overs. Only one batsman scored more than six, and just 44 runs and four boundaries were scored off the bat.

Dean Crawford (3-24 off four overs) set the ball rolling for Bexhill by having Dan Wells caught behind by Jack Richardson with the score six and Shawn Johnson dismissed Eastbourne skipper Mark Tomsett a run later.

Johnson then removed Zane Hartley for a golden duck to make it 8-3 and it was 12-4 after Jonathan Phelps became Johnson’s third victim.

A fifth wicket partnership of 14 - the joint highest of the innings - ended when Crawford snapped up Matt Cooke. Johnson saw off David Twine a run later and when Crawford did for Chris Borsoi, Eastbourne were in tatters at 29-7.

Johnson completed a superb five-wicket haul when Richardson held his third catch of the innings to get rid of Adam Blackburn, making the score 37-8.

Not content with taking 5-13 from four overs, Johnson then claimed a couple of catches to finish off the Eastbourne innings with spinners Josh Beeslee (1-14 off 2.4 overs) and Jamie Bristow-Diamond (1-9 off 2) taking the wickets.

Number nine Jacob Smith was the one shining light for Eastbourne with 19 not out from 20 balls. All of the wickets, incidentally, fell to catches with Malcolm Johnson taking two of them.

Bexhill - the 2012 runners-up - made short work of knocking off the runs against last year’s finalists Eastbourne, reaching their meagre target in just 8.2 overs for the loss of two wickets.

Richardson went off like a train at the top of the order, smashing 23 off just eight balls with five fours until being caught by Borsoi off Twine with the score 32. Fellow opener Crawford had been bowled by Stuart Pulford 10 runs earlier.

Malcolm Johnson (16 not out) and Johnathan Haffenden (15 not out) did the rest as Bexhill celebrated their second victory over Eastbourne this season having also knocked them out of the ECB Royal London Club Championship.

Bexhill will be joined in the semi-finals by Premier League leaders East Grinstead and two Division Three sides in the form of Bognor Regis and Ansty, who pulled off a surprise seven-run win away to reigning Premier League champions Preston Nomads.

Bexhill are also through to the semi-finals of the Gray-Nicolls Sussex 2nd XI T20 Cup after scheduled opponents Eastbourne conceded yesterday’s quarter-final.