Centurion Haines the star as Horsham beat Eastbourne by six wickets

Horsham CC's Tom Haines celebrates is century against Eastbourne at The Saffrons (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180618-114237008
Horsham CC's Tom Haines celebrates is century against Eastbourne at The Saffrons (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180618-114237008

Horsham skipper Michael Thornely was full of praise for Lions opener Tom Haines after his side picked up a six-wicket away win against Eastbourne.

The result sees Horsham unbeaten in four in the Sussex Cricket Premier Division.

Horsham CC's Nick Oxley hits a four on his way to his 50 against Eastbourne at The Saffrons (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180618-114145008

Horsham CC's Nick Oxley hits a four on his way to his 50 against Eastbourne at The Saffrons (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180618-114145008

The visitors won the toss and elected to field and Eastbourne posted 264-8 off 58 overs, with captain Jacob Smith topscoring (106).

In reply, the Lions hit 265-4 off 41 overs thanks to a superb 120 not out from Haines.

After the win Thornely was full of praise for Haines, who is averaging 96 this season, and has backed him to play for Sussex.

He said: “I think Tom has matured as a bloke and now he’s a professional taking on the responsibility.

Horsham CC's Tom Haines celebrates is century with Nick Oxley who scored 50 against Eastbourne at The Saffrons (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180618-114413008

Horsham CC's Tom Haines celebrates is century with Nick Oxley who scored 50 against Eastbourne at The Saffrons (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180618-114413008

“If he keeps playing like that he will get picked for Sussex and obviously we want him to get picked and play in the first team.

“He’s proved he’s more than capable at club level and I think he needs a bit more of a test at the moment.”

The Lions started brightly with the ball thanks to Haines (1-43), George Garton (1-25) and Joe Ashmore (1-42) before a 127-run fourth-wicket partnership between skipper Smith and Ben Twine (60) saw the hosts on 231-4.

After Twine was taken caught and bowled by Nick Oxley (3-44) the Eastbourne batsmen struggled against the bowling of Will Beer (2-46) and Oxley, with the hosts posting a final total of 264-8.

In reply, Horsham lost Craig Gallagher (24) and Beer (five) early to the bowling of Ben Barter (2-61) before a 54-run third-wicket partnership between captain Thornely (25) and Haines left the Lions on 127-3.

A 127-run fourth-wicket knock between Oxley (57) and Haines got Horsham to 254-4 before Haines and Garton (six not out) saw the Lions to the winning total, finishing 265-4.

Thornely was delighted that his side maintained its unbeaten and was full of praise for his players.

He added: “Hainesy (Tom Haines) played an amazing innings, he’s in great form at the moment and it’s a massive boost to have him in the team along with George (Garton).

“George set the tone with the ball and was very unlucky and should have had a couple more wickets.

“Nick Oxley played well to get his 50 and probably should have finished not out but he got out just before the end.

“It was a really positive performance. We’ve got ourselves on a bit of a roll now and I think we’re in a really good place at the moment.”

Up next for Horsham is a trip to Middleton in the league on Saturday.