Billingshurst captain Tom Haynes saluted a ‘very encouraging start’ to their competitive campaign as they beat West Chiltington in the Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup.
Three divisions separate the two sides and ultimately, Hurst’s quality shone through in the 29-run victory.
But West Chilt far from disgraced themselves in the local derby clash as they won the toss and elected to field.
The visitors stacked up 194-5 in their 20 overs as Haynes (67) himself got them off to a good start opening the batting. He and Scott Stratton (17) put on 39 for the first wicket.
Andy Barr boosted Billingshurst with 37 and Mike Burroughs chipped in with 29 as the extras column also totalled 27.
With the ball, Tim van Noort, Neil North, Reuben Taylor, James Howgate and Charlie Davies all took a wicket each.
In reply, Chilt’s openers, captain Tim Jarvis and Howgate put on 30 for the first wicket, but Shane West (2-37) trapped Jarvis lbw for eight and Ben Williams (1-23) bowled Howgate for 24.
Chilt player-coach van Noort (26) and Matthew Wood (55) provided some more resistance in the middle order, but were bowled by Alex Lowther (2-16) and Haynes (1-11) respectively.
With them dismissed it put Billingshurst in the box seat and despite a late cameo of an unbeaten 19 from Charlie Reeves, Chilt finished on 165-7 from their 20 overs.
Haynes said: “It was a very encouraging start to the season, with a number of lads chipping in throughout the innings. It shows we have a lot of depth all the way down the order, which is very pleasing.
“We had a big score on the board so it was always going to be a tough task for them.
“However, they were up with the rate at the start of their innings, so we couldn’t afford to be complacent at any stage. Once Alex Lowther got the wicket of Tim van Noort that calmed the nerves a bit.”
Jarvis added: “I’m not too worried about the result. A win would have been fantastic, but it was more of a chance to benchmark ourselves against a team three leagues above us for the second week in a row.
“It was great to see us competing with a team that played premier league cricket last year and there were fantastic individual performances.
“They did go at over nine an over, but I don’t think that’s down to poor bowling at all. The boundaries were small and the batters were in T20 mode. Tom played a match-winning
“For the vast majority of our innings we were on par with the run-rate, but we lost regular wickets. I think that taking a good bowling attack for over eight-an-over in our second game of the year is a very encouraging sign.”
Billingshurst open their Division 2 season away to Bognor on Saturday, while West Chiltington’s campaign in Division 5 West gets under way at home to Chichester Priory Park 2nd XI.