Deft late cut from Varney seals a dramatic victory

Eastbourne third XI secured a dramatic win in a high-scoring game at Little Common Rec.

Common’s Peter Eames (142*) took advantage on an excellent pitch with a series of fine strokes.

Chris Jones picked up a wicket but skipper Berwick Smith joined Eames in a partnership that yielded 127 runs in just 82 balls. Little Common’s total was 260-2 declared.

Eastbourne had 44 overs to bat and Siraj Mashood and Jon Purdey got them off to a flying start, before Purdey fell for 29. Darren Cumming was next man in and began accumulating steadily. Mashood fell for 58, his second successive half-century.

Russ Varney joined Cumming, there were just 26 balls remaining and 50 runs still to score. Cumming, who had taken 83 balls to reach his half century, was dispatching the ball to all corners of the ground, adding 39 more in just 21 balls while Varney used all his experience to find the gaps.

In the end, it came down to the final ball: Varney to face, four required.

Having stepped across his wicket to paddle the ball down to fine-leg on several occasions, this time he waited and played the deftest of late cuts to run it to the boundary.

Eastbourne had won by five wickets in the most thrilling way. Skipper Ian Marshall commented, “It was a wonderful game, and our batsmen did us proud to chase down such a big total when the pressure was really on.”

Eastbourne seconds so nearly held on for a draw against Brighton seconds at the Saffrons on Saturday.

Brighton batted first and got off to a brisk start but spinners Joe Barnett (2-42) and Brad Smith (4-44), plus 15-year-old seamer Harry McLeod (1-50) brought things back under control.

From a strong position at 171 for three, Brighton & Hove were pegged back to finish on 216-8. Skipper Luke Tomsett led the way in the reply, dominating the scoring in an opening partnership of 49. But when he fell for an aggressive 63. It was left to Mark Trubshaw and Chris Borsoi to take the responsibility.

Borsoi fell for 15, and Trubshaw was eventually dismissed for 36, ninth man out with 50 still required.

The last pair of Adam Brawn and Joe Barnett battled valiantly, but couldn’t save the match.