Dan Strange Takes 8 Wickets to Keep Burgess Hill Title Chances Alive 

Dan Strange showed his incredible ability again by taking 8 wickets inside 11 overs to bowl Seaford out for 64.

Going into the last 5 games of the season, Hill know they need to win at least 4 of them to stand a chance of promotion and these run of games couldn’t have started any better. Hill lost the toss for the second week running, but this time they were in the field on a hot day down on the coast. It was the ever present Dan Strange and Joe Maskell opening the bowling for Burgess Hill, both using the wind and swinging the ball to their advantage. First ball of the game there a big shout for LBW but the decision – just sliding down the leg side. It didn’t take long for Strange to get into his stride. Only in his second over he was in the wickets, one that kept a little low had Ben Brown struck in front of all 3 stumps. Captain and Seaford top run scorer joined Chris Stanyard who is third top scorer looking to build a strong partnership. Maskell was bowling tightly to both batsman and offering very little which was a challenging job running into the wind. The big wicket of Smith came in Strange’s fourth over and he had another LBW to his name. It didn’t take long for his third as Sussex u17 Oli Carter lasted only last three balls as he edged behind to Luke Vick. Seaford had slipped to 22-3 but the dangerous Stanyard was still there with Mark Sapwell still to come. Stanyard was joined by Adam Kneller who was sent in to try and score some quick runs. He hit one boundary but the mini partnership of 17 was broken by Maskell as he sent Kneller off stump cartwheeling for 5. Stanyard was looking solid in defence and hit two lovely boundaries through cover off Strange. However, revenge soon came… Stanyard (22) chased the worst ball of the game, short and wide but he managed an under edge for Vick to take his second catch. Having won the toss Seaford were really struggling at 43-5 and it got worse. William Lucas came to crease but only lasted 1 ball as Strange bowled a perfect in-swinging yorker to get his third LBW of the game and his 6th 5-wicket haul of the season. The 7th wicket wasn’t too far away, 44-7 came when Strange had the dangerous Mark Sapwell caught behind for 1. 44-7 became 53-8 as Strange had his 7th wicket of the match, again another edge from Callum Scott was caught by Vick. Zak Hearsey came in at 9 fresh from a 50 last week. He came with intent, wanting to score quick runs and hit Strange for a four and then Maskell for 6 over his head. He was the only player to join Stanyard in scoring double figures, but he was next out with the score on 63 as Maskell got his revenge by sending his leg stump cartwheeling this time for 16. Strange wrapped up the innings in the next over as he had number 11 Stuart Pulford LBW for 0 leaving Seaford 64 all out after 20.5 overs. Credit must go to Maskell as he had the hard shift of bowling into the wind, but kept the scoring down and ending with figures of 2-30 from 10 overs, but the plaudits must go to Strange as his 10.5 overs went for 25 runs and 8 wickets!

With only 65 needed and 20 overs bowled, tea was on hold as Hill went straight back out to bat. Ben Hopkins was promoted back to the top of the order to try and give Hill a fast start. But it was his fellow partner who started quickest. Tom Trowbridge hit a 4 second ball. The second over of the game started just as well, 13 from it as Trowbridge hit another 4 and Hopkins got off the mark with an unbelievable straight drive through mid on for 4 before smashing another through the covers. Trowbridge hit another 4 before being the first wicket to fall. He edged one to first slip for 14. That didn’t stop Hopkins though as he attacked smashing another 4. Kevin Ramsey joined Hopkins and kept the run rate up as he scored his first boundary. He scored 2 more 4s in the over as Hill were well on their way to 30 points being 44-1 from 5 overs. Hopkins still on charge got 8 from the next over before Kev hit another cover drive for 4. With 6 runs needed, Hopkins went for the glory, but unfortunately he was caught at mid off for an entertaining 25 from 19 balls. Ian Simpson came in and carried on his good form with a glorious drive for 4. With just 3 required Ramsey nudged a quick single before Simpson hit the winnings run through cover as Hill won by 8 wickets. Ramsey was not out 20 and Simpson not out 8. The game was over after 8.3 overs which meant there was less than 30 overs bowled in whole game.

30 points for Hill leaves them still sitting second in the table but on a good run of form to keep the promotion charge going. Strange’s 8 wickets leaving him on 48 for the season making him the leading wicket taking in the county so far. His 48 wickets come at a strike rate of 15 and average of 9.33 which is remarkable for the number of wickets he has taken. Hill welcome Hastings 2nd team next week as they try and make it 3 wins from 3.