Billingshurst knocked from top spot as Three Bridges block out for a draw

Billingshurst (batting) vs Three Bridges
Ed Verrall SUS-171206-103247001
Billingshurst (batting) vs Three Bridges Ed Verrall SUS-171206-103247001

Billingshurst slipped from pole position in Division 2 as they were held to a draw by a resilient Three Bridges on Saturday.

With the format switching back to timed win, lose or draw games for the first time this season, high-scoring Hurst fell foul of a Bridges side that were happy to hold out for the latter.

Billingshurst (batting) vs Three Bridges SUS-171206-103223001

Billingshurst (batting) vs Three Bridges SUS-171206-103223001

The home side posted 209-6 in their 53 overs as Stuart Barber (63) and Ed Verrall (55) led the way with the bat.

But Bridges replied with just 136-6 from their 47 overs as Danny Alderman topscored with 61.

Apart from that, no batsman scored more than 17 as the visitors crept along at fewer than 2.9 runs an over at Jubilee Fields.

The result saw Hurst drop to second, 12 points behind new leaders Mayfield, while Bridges dropped a place to fourth as Ifield leaped up the table.

Billingshurst (batting) vs Three Bridges
Ed Verrall SUS-171206-103149001

Billingshurst (batting) vs Three Bridges Ed Verrall SUS-171206-103149001

Billingshurst captain Tom Haynes said: “It wasn’t a great weekend. Saturday didn’t go to plan only coming away with 13 points, after playing all the cricket.

“Batting first and losing a couple of early wickets wasn’t a great start. Although our middle order really stepped up to take us past 200 on a good wicket.

“We started the second innings well, taking three early wickets. I was really pleased with how we bowled, especially with the new ball.

“Although from then on we struggled to take regular wickets, against a batting side making no effort to chase our score. It was extremely frustrating as we bowled well, but when a side blocks out from the sixth over it becomes very difficult to bowl a team out, especially on a good wicket.

“However, even though the result didn’t go our way, I was very happy with the way we performed as a team.”

As the match got underway with Billingshurst opting to bat, Olle Blandford struck twice with the new ball, removing Scott Stratton (25) and Haynes (zero).

A stand of more than a hundred then built between Barber and Verrall which took Billingshurst up to 146-3.

Mike Burroughs entered the fray and put on a unbeaten 41 and after a couple of run-outs, they closed on a healthy 209-6.

In reply, Bridges were in the similar position of 30-3 after Conor Golding (13), Jack Biden (15) and James Russell (zero) all fell as Andy Barr (3-51) and Alex Lowther (1-14) took the wickets.

Joe Walker (two), Olle Blandford (17) and Tom Blanford (three) were the next wickets to fall with the score on 70-6.

At that point Alderman (61*) and Mike Rose (13*) dug in to see out the last 20 overs as they finished 73 runs of their target.