Burgess Hill travelled to Bexhill and persistent drizzle meant that a start was not possible until 2.30 . The overs in the match were reduced from 100 to 76 and skipper Kevin Ramsay , having won the toss 2.5 hours earlier asked Bexhill to bat.
A hard underlying surface gave plenty of encouragement to Burgess Hill opening bowlers Hugh Warmisham and Bobby Barnes and Warmisham in particular bowled some telling deliveries. He clean bowled Will Edwards for a duck in the third over and Hill looked to capitalise on a promising start.
However , Bexhill opener Nick Blatchly was in fine form and, whilst Joe Powell dug in, Blatchly raced to fifty off just fifty-one balls punishing some wayward deliveries . At 75-1 off just thirteen overs Hill were in need of some control . This they found in Peter Billinghay who settled into a miserly spell conceding only five runs off his first seven overs. At one short of a hundred run partnership Billinghay bowled Joe Powell for a resilient 21 and then Tom Powell also bowled . Joe Maskell was also finding a decent rhythm after an indifferent start and Blatchly was relatively becalmed as Ramsay looked to keep him off strike as much as possible. Maskell picked up Van Noort(10), caught by Tom Penfold and then took a remarkable 3 in four balls including the prize wicket of Blatchly for a fine 92. Useful runs from the experienced Martin Phillimore and Jake Beale took Bexhill to 180 off their 41 overs.
A mixed display from Hill in the field but they stuck at it well in blustery conditions.
Chasing 181 in just 35 overs was always going to be a tough ask. A strong start was vital but Warmisham’s steer to point off the first ball of the innings from Byron Smith immediately exposed in-form Ramsay. When he drove to Joe Powell off Beale in the fourth over for just 7, Hill were up against it. The dependable Penfold was joined by Kirk Proto and the two provided some much needed stability with a good mix of defence and positive shots. Penfold fell LBW to Smith for 20 and Maskell having scored a fluent 17 off thirteen balls drove tamely to Van Noort, quickly followed by Proto who was caught by Van Noort for 21 as he looked to accelerate. At 72-5 off 23 overs the writing was on the wall . Ben Hopkins , however was determined not to go down without a fight and in a display of superb controlled hitting supported by firstly Steve Cromb and then Martyn Box he hit three sixes and seven fours in scoring 62 off 48 balls . Whilst he was there Hill were in with an improbable chance of victory . He fell to Smith to the relief of Bexhill.
When Peter Billinghay tried to emulate Hopkins and only succeeded in becoming Smith’s seventh victim for a two-ball duck it was left to Tom McKenzie and Bobby Barnes to secure the draw . McKenzie had already struck three boundaries when Hopkins was in and then calmly secured the draw facing all the remaining 12 balls as Hill finished on 149-8.
Credit to Bexhill for keeping the game alive as they chased a much-needed win but credit also to Burgess Hill for playing their part in an entertaining draw .