Bognor’s title hopes suffered a setback as they fell to their second loss in two weeks to a well-organised Billingshurst side who have climbed above them into second spot in Sussex League division three west.
Billingshurst won the toss and put Bognor in. Bognor got off to the worst start possible losing skipper Elliot Clarke second ball, caught behind off Andy Barr.
Barr went on to take further wickets, dismissing the top order with accuracy, pace and swing. Bognor’s misery continued as Barr claimed all the top five batsmen with only Luke Seward showing resistance.
At 32 for four Seward (25) showed resilience, timing the ball well to the boundary a number of times. But the introduction of spin ended Seward’s innings, a key wicket for Billingshurst.
Bognor continued to lose wickets to the turning ball as Ben Williams (3-27) proved effective on the Regis Oval wicket.
At 55 for seven Bognor were staring down the barrel, but Phill Ball (22) and Josh Seward boosted Bognor’s cause with a flurry of boundaries against the slow bowlers.
Seward showed maturity, defending the good balls and attacking anything over-pitched. The pair rushed Bognor along with a partnership of 51 before Seward (39) was a victim of the Sri Lankan Dhanushka Mitipolaarachchi (2-23).
Billingshurst mopped up the Bognor innings from 106 for seven to 106 all out. Barr took five for 28 off 8.4 overs in a brutal spell of bowling that Bognor had no answer to.
Billingshurst’s attacking momentum was reflected in their batting as opener Carleon Brome ruthlessly smashed Bognor’s bowling all around the ground.
Brome and Philip Marshall (17) looked at ease, striking the new ball to the boundary. With numeous fours and sixes, the opening partnership of 58 proved Billingshurst’s dominance.
It was not until Bognor introduced spin that either batsman looked out of their comfort zone. Oli Handson (2-29) dismissed both openers but the damage was done.
Brome smashed his team to victory with 62 from 38 balls including nine fours and four sixes as Billingshurst passed the total with eight wickets in hand and plenty of overs spare.