Ekstrom blasts last-ball six as Haines hits hundred in Horsham’s win at Hastings

cricket. Cuckfield v Horsham. Tom Haines. Pic Steve Robards SR1814376 SUS-180521-122548001
cricket. Cuckfield v Horsham. Tom Haines. Pic Steve Robards SR1814376 SUS-180521-122548001

Horsham captain Michael Thornely was delighted that his side has picked up some form after a three-wicket away win against Hastings & St Leonards Priory.

The Lions made it two wins in a row in the Sussex League Premier Division, slowly pulling away from the bottom of the table.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat and were bowled all out for 263 off 50 overs, with wicketkeeper Joe Billings (143) batting superbly.

In reply, the visitors left it to the last over to chase down the total, finishing on 267-7 as Mike Ekstrom hit a six off the final ball to secure the win.

That came after excellent knocks from Tom Haines (110) and Thornely (92) himself.

Thornely said: “We’ve had a tough start this season against some of the stronger teams in the league and we’ve managed to get back to winning ways.

“It’s good to get two victories back to back.”

Horsham started well, taking Hastings captain Tom Gillespie (one) lbw off Jamie Thornely (4-65).

A 74-run fourth-wicket partnership between Jake Woolley (24) and Billings came to an end after Woolley was run out.

There was then a 94-run eight-wicket stand between Billings and Josh Beeslee (35) to set up the hosts for a big total, before the loss of Billings off the bowling of Paul Williams (2-55). Beeslee then fell to Jamie Thornely, wrapping up the Hastings innings.

In reply, the Lions lost Craig Gallagher (nine) early before a sparkling 190-run second wicket-partnership between Haines and Michael Thornely put Horsham at 229-3.

Haines was caught and bowled by Jed O’Brien (1-32) and shortly after Michael Thornely fell to John Morgan (1-40) leaving the visitors on 229-3.

After this partnership, the Lions lost four wickets for just 27 runs. It was left to Ekstrom to blast his only runs - a six off the final ball - to win the game.

Captain Michael Thornely added: “We needed to get the wicket of Billings, he played really well.

“We had a very good lbw appeal early on which wasn’t given unfortunately, but we stuck at it and Billings managed to have quite a few big overs to get them well above the 200 mark.

“He was almost hitting it where he wanted to for a few overs, but I thought our bowlers had the will to pick up wickets from the other end and put the players at the other end under pressure to force those mistakes.

“Jamie Thornely, Nick Oxley, and Joe Ashmore all bowled really well. The spinners did what they did the week before and restricted the scoring and built up pressure from their end.

“Hainesy (Tom Haines) and myself should’ve been there at the end to finish the game off.

“We played well to put on a 190-run partnership but it was just about keeping it going for the last few overs.

“It was good to see the other lads come in under pressure and get us over the line.”

Horsham face second placed Brighton & Hove on Saturday.