Billingshurst captain Stuart Barber blasted ‘awful’ fielding as they suffered a 97-run defeat at home to Bexhill in the Premier Division.
The skipper felt they gifted the visitors up to 80 extra runs with dropped catches and errors in the field as they posted 263-5 declared after winning the toss in the season opener.
Hurst got off to a solid start and had two wickets down after drinks, but Luke Youngs (119) and Callum Guest (84*) did the damage as Bexhill declared in the 54th over.
In reply, the top order all made starts – Barber hit 28, Tom Haynes made 33, Mike Burroughs added 23, before Rob Woodman scored 27, but wickets at key times saw them slump to 166 all out.
Barber said: “We got off to an okay start, Shane West in particular, he bowled 12 overs on the trot and was excellent. We restricted them to three an over for the first 20 overs.
“We thought it was game on but a mix of excellent batting on their part and really, really poor fielding on our part saw them get away.
“We probably gave them an extra 60 to 80 runs with misfields or dropped catches and the momentum certainly swung their way.
“With the bat, we had 57 overs to see out and got off to a flier with Tom Haynes, who hit 20 off the first over.
“In the first 25 overs it was anyone’s game, but we lost at crucial times and we never got near their target.
“It was a frustrating day all-round, particularly as we were so awful in the field.”
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