Eastbourne skipper Smith seeks positive reaction against Preston Nomads after 22 run collapse

Eastbourne CC V Brighton & Hove CC - another wicket falls (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190513-114600008
Eastbourne CC V Brighton & Hove CC - another wicket falls (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190513-114600008

Eastbourne Cricket Club captain Jacob Smith admitted there was a stunned silence in the dressing room after they slumped to 22 all out against Brighton at the Saffrons last Saturday.

Eastbourne suffered an embarrassing 291 run defeat as the batsmen totally collapsed for just 22 from 12 overs.

Brighton’s Matt Machan and Matthew Wood did the damage with the ball as both bowlers ended with five-wicket hauls. Fraser McHale top-scored for Eastbourne with six.

Brighton had earlier posted a daunting total of 313-4 from their 43 overs. Machan finished unbeaten on 138 from 88 balls, including 16 fours and seven sixes.

Opener Phil Salt made 51 from 47 balls. There were two wickets each for Eastbourne’s David Twine and Jamie Goddard.

Eastbourne have lost their first two league matches of the season and are bottom of the table. Jacob Smith’s men will hope for better fortunes tomorrow (Saturday, 11.30am)as they welcome joint-leaders Preston Nomads.

“We were all a bit shell-shocked to be honest,” admitted Smith. “I have seen and also been involved in collapses before. Usually there is one batsman who will put their hand-up, dig in and make the score respectable. Unfortunately that didn’t happen for us.

“Our competitive pride has taken a hit. But look, there is only so long you can feel sad or embarrassed for. You have to say, ‘that’s as bad as it can get,’ and we have to move on.

“The season hasn’t started as well as we would have liked but we are not a bad team. We have players to come back into the side and we will get stronger. We have to use what happened last Saturday as motivation and show we can bat, we can play and we can compete in this league.”

In a rain interrupted match, Eastbourne were chasing almost eight an over thanks largely to Machan’s destructive innings.

“We were under-pressure and they bowled very well,” added Smith.

“Wood was swinging the ball quite a bit and we were too slow to react and adapt. Machan was bowling some fast off-spin and because of the rain, it was skidding through pretty quick.

“I was out because I chose the wrong shot and others did the same. Chasing eight an over, we tried to force it and didn’t really know whether to stick or twist. But we will learn from it.”

Smith has university commitments tomorrow and experienced opener James Hockley will take the armband against the Nomads.

“I’m gutted I can’t play, particularly after last weekend. You want to get it out of your system. I will be glued to the phone looking for updates. Nomads are strong but hopefully the lads will react positively.”