No excuses - Billingshurst suffer disastrous collapse at strugglers Portslade

Sussex Cricket League, Division 2: Billingshurst (batting) v St James's.  Scott Stratton. Pic Steve Robards SR1711708 SUS-170529-163054001
Sussex Cricket League, Division 2: Billingshurst (batting) v St James's. Scott Stratton. Pic Steve Robards SR1711708 SUS-170529-163054001
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No excuses - that was the verdict as Billingshurst suffered a disastrous batting collapse in their defeat to bottom-of-the-table Portslade.

The home side clinched a 53-run victory in Division 2 to stun promotion-hunting Hurst - who collapsed from 88-0 to 145 all out in their run chase.

The result sees Billingshurst remain fourth, but having trailed leaders Guernsey Sarnians - who cannot be promoted - by now 27 points, now fall 65 behind.

The gap to second-placed Ifield is 31 points and ten to place-above Three Bridges.

Saturday saw Hurst win the toss and put in Portslade, who posted 198 in 53 overs.

Third-man in Ian Wainwright made the first real contribution of 27, backed up by a crucial mid-order 55 from Timothy Perri.

Alex Smith added 21 to help boost them to their total in the face of some fine bowling from Billingshurst.

Ben Williams led the way claiming 5-55 from his 19 overs, while Andy Barr recorded figures of 4-48 off 13.

In reply, an opening stand of 88 from Scott Stratton (61) and captain Tom Haynes (36) put Hurst in the driving seat.

With Haynes bowled by Smith (5-64), Stuart Barber (ten) and Ed Verrall (11) helped push the visitors past the hundred mark.

But the collapse was on, from 88 without loss to 117-3 Hurst were still in good shape, but Smith and Paul Glover (5-27) ripped through the batting line-up.

None of the last seven batsman managed to make double figures as the scoreboard read 135-4 to then 145 all out, adding just ten runs for six wickets.

Haynes admitted they let their opponents get 40 to 50 runs too many and said: “It just didn’t work out for us Saturday.

“Unfortunately, 50/50 chances didn’t go our way, and big points in the game always seemed to sway in their favour.

“I thought we bowled ok, but it definitely wasn’t our best bowling performance of the year. We should have probably restricted Portslade to 150/160, which definitely would have affected the result.

“On a positive note, I thought Ben Williams bowled particularly well, taking his first five-fer of the year.

“After making such a good start with the bat, it was disappointing not to chase the runs down. The pitch definitely assisted the bowlers in the second innings, although there is no excuse for the way we batted.

“Hopefully, we can turn it around for this Saturday again Bognor (at home).”