Horsham's defeat to Middleton in high-scoring game 'hard to explain'

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Horsham’s high-scoring eight-wicket home loss against Middleton on Saturday in the Premier League was ‘hard to explain’ according to captain Michael Thornely.

Middleton elected to field and were put to the sword by the Lions, as they posted a hefty 340-7 off 50 overs thanks to the superlative Thornely (150) and Will Beer (100).

But a masterful reply saw Sean Heather (144*) and Mahesh Rawat (100*) power Middleton to 342-2 off 47.5 overs to secure victory.

Thornely said: “It’s hard to explain. You shouldn’t really lose that game.

“I’m not blaming anyone, and I don’t want to take anything way from Middleton, but we just bowled too many extras and we didn’t do the basics well enough.

“I’m really happy with the score that we put on. Beero and myself had a good partnership and the guys down the order played positively and got us onto a great score.

“But it just wasn’t to be and it was a very disappointing loss really.

“We should have won. It should have been two wins from three instead of one from three.

“Now I’m just asking for a reaction from the players at Cuckfield on Saturday. We must make sure we are up for it and put right what happened.”

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The Lions’ Craig Gallagher (14) and Sam Bell (six) were both early victims of Russell Talman (3-64) as the hosts stumbled to 25-2.

But a marvellous 257-run third-wicket partnership between Thornely and Beer motored Horsham to 282-3.

Thornely’s knock of 150 took 141 balls and comprised of 19 fours and four sixes before he was taken by Ben Hansford (3-39).

Hansford then claimed the scalp of Beer at 298-5. Beer’s ton was made up of 11 fours and a six off 109 balls.

Quickfire scores from Jamie Brown (14 off six balls) and Paul Williams (19 off 12) pushed Horsham to 334-7 before Joe Willis (eight*) and Darren Jordan (nought*) saw out the rest of the innings.

Middleton were chasing a sizeable total and set off at a lightning pace.

Harry Hovey (20) was taken by Jonny Whiting (1-56) at 41-1 but this was as good as it got with the ball for Horsham.

A 123-run knock for the second-wicket between Jack Dawling (54) and Heather moved Middleton to 164-2 before Dawling was run out.

This was followed by an even more remarkable 178-run third-wicket partnership between Heather and Dawat, as the pair blasted Middleton to victory.

Horsham travel to Cuckfield on Saturday.