Bexhill’s cricketers put their league difficulties to one side with victory in Twenty20 action yesterday (Sunday).
The Sussex Premier League’s bottom club produced a fine display in the field to win its Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup second round tie at home to Brighton & Hove by 30 runs.
As well as putting Bexhill through to the quarter-finals on Sunday June 29, the result also went some way to avenging a heavy defeat against the same opponents in the league eight days previously.
Bexhill totalled 116-9 from their allocation after winning the toss and choosing to bat on a cloudy and cool afternoon at The Polegrove with only three batsmen scoring more than four.
From 25-2, brothers Malcolm Johnson (24) and Shawn Johnson (25) put on a very useful 46 for the third wicket. Although three wickets then went down for five runs, Tom Powell smashed a brilliant and extremely valuable 28 off only 17 balls with four sixes.
With Brighton needing to score at less than six an over in reply, wickets were going to be crucial for Bexhill and they duly got off to a super start. Shawn Johnson bowled a wicket maiden in the second over and Dean Crawford struck in the next to leave Brighton 2-2.
It was nearly 2-3 off the very next ball, but a tough chance went down at slip. Shawn Johnson bagged his second wicket in successive overs thanks to a Crawford catch at third man to make it 14-3 before Jordan Rollings clubbed 14 off three balls from Crawford.
The tall figure of Rollings was dropped twice in three balls at long-off in Jamie Bristow-Diamond’s first over, but his luck ran out when he was stumped off the very next delivery for 28 off just 15 deliveries.
Although Josh Beeslee’s first ball went for six over midwicket, he responded by trapping Brighton captain Paul Hardwick LBW for 14 with his fifth. And when Beeslee had Joe Nichols superbly stumped down the leg side by Cameron Burgon in his next over, Brighton were 58-6.
Bristow-Diamond claimed his second wicket in the over after that thanks to a brilliant piece of work by Crawford on the long-on boundary. Crawford held the catch inside the rope, but realising he was going to topple back over it, threw the ball up in the air and caught it again as he returned to the field of play.
Chris Grammer chipped Beeslee to Malcolm Johnson at midwicket to leave Brighton 65-8 in the 12th over and Shawn Johnson ended a brief bit of resistance by having Matt Wood caught by Tim Hambridge with his first ball after rejoining the attack.
Ethan Guest ran out Waheed Safi (17) in the next over following a mix-up between the batsmen as Brighton were all out for 86. Shawn Johnson finished with 3-21 off four overs, Beeslee 3-16 off four, Bristow-Diamond 2-26 off four and Crawford 1-20 off three for a Bexhill side which conceded only one extra.