Bexhill captain: We got stitched up by the rain

Eddie Lemmon took four wickets for Bexhill in their defeat away to Crawley Eagles. Picture courtesy Jon Rigby
Eddie Lemmon took four wickets for Bexhill in their defeat away to Crawley Eagles. Picture courtesy Jon Rigby

Bexhill Cricket Club captain Johnathan Haffenden felt the weather gods frowned on his team as it was beaten in a rain-affected opening league fixture of the season.

Bexhill lost by 24 runs away to Crawley Eagles in 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Division Three East after being bowled out for 170 in pursuit of a revised target of 195 (from 203).

The players were forced off by rain three times during Bexhill’s reply and the third break, which was longer than the previous two, meant the visitors’ target came down slightly from the original 203, but they had less overs to get there.

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Haffenden said: “We had the worst of the conditions. We thought we were well on course and then got stitched up by the rain. We lost overs and the run rate went up; it was just one thing after another.

“We got told (by the umpires) we only needed 170 and then they changed it 195 so we needed 48 off 5.2 overs. We always back ourselves chasing 10 an over if we need to, but that’s if you’ve got people in and set. We gave it a good go, but it was tough on the boys.”

Eagles posted 202-9 from their 45 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat in extremely windy conditions.

Anjum Zafer top-scored with 56 at number seven, opener Razlan Razik made 40, captain Rehan Hasan hit 27 at number four and Imran Mehboob 22 at number nine.

Eddie Lemmon, who had previously only made two first team appearances, was the most successful Bexhill bowler with 4-27 from nine overs.

Shawn Johnson took 3-50 from seven overs - his best return since July 2017 - Liam Bryant claimed 1-31 from nine and Stuart Collier returned the splendid figures of 1-19 off eight following a first spell of 1-9 off seven.

“Ethan (Guest) and Stuart Collier did a great job up top,” added Haffenden. “Stuart was class. He should never have been out of cricket for that long. He looked very good and he’s great to have.

“Eddie Lemmon was fantastic with the ball. He bowled unbelievably well; turn, bounce, he had it all. He was a big positive.

“We went about our business with a lot of energy and it was a good performance. Extras (31) was probably a little too many, but for a first run-out, I wasn’t too unhappy.

“We were happy chasing 202, although we probably should’ve been chasing 160 if we’re honest.”

Andrew Hodd (46) and Haffenden (28) got Bexhill’s run chase off to a decent start until both were bowled by Atif Ali (4-22 off 8.2).

Bryant (13) and Guest (17) got starts at four and five, and Richard Harrison made a good 28 at seven, but Shahid Raja bowled Eagles to victory with 5-25 from six overs.