Eastbourne skipper Jacob Smith is not expecting any easy games in the Sussex Premier Cricket League Division 2 this season.
Smiht’s men have lost their two opening league fixtures - against Ifield and Lindfield respectively - and face top-of-the-table Billingshurst on Saturday.
Smith said: “I’m expecting another tough game, it sounds like a cliche, but I don’t think there’ll be any easy games in this league. Having come down last year, they’ll be as desperate to go up as we are.”
In the latest game, Eastbourne, with Delray Rawlins in their line-up, travelled to Lindfield and got off to a great start, reducing their hosts 32-4 after winning the toss and electing to bowl.
But a fightback led by Declan Martel (73), Harry Chaudhary (33) and Phil Weir (35) saw Lindfield reach 225-8 from their 45 overs.
In reply, Dan Wells batted well for 50 but he was the only batsman to show any resistance as Eastbourne collapsed to 157 all out.
Smith said: “We made a great start with the ball.
“Tom Martyn was really impressive and Ben Barter and David Twine backed him up nicely.
“With the bat, Dan Wells led the way. It wasn’t pretty but he got stuck in and put a huge price on his wicket. It’s the sort of example the rest of the batsman need to follow, myself included.”
Rawlins, who scored 23 in the defeat, is now making a name at Sussex and Smith is not sure how often he will be around.
He said: “Ideally we’d love to have Del around every game but obviously that won’t be the case.
“I suppose it really depends on the first team at Sussex; if there are some injuries or poor form then we probably won’t see to much of him.”
For Saturday’s game at the Saffrons, Smith has Mark Tomsett back in the team.
He said: “The team shouldn’t change too much but Mark Tomsett is definitely back for us and that is huge because he’s so useful to me tactically and he’s a class act with the bat.”
Eastbourne 2nd XI lost on Saturday after Crawley Eagles set a huge target of 304-3 in their 50 overs.
Anjum Zafer (41), Razlan Razik (108), Imran Suddahazai (46) and Rehan Hassan (47 not out from 18 balls) did the damage for the visitors.
In reply, skipper Jon Purdey (79) gave Eastbourne a solid start and Mark Trubshaw pitched in with 52 but Rilwan Mohamed (3-44) and Wazoomi Wahid (3-27), helped see the home side bowled out for 214.
Jason Tibble followed up his unbeaten 200 on the first day of the season with 62 this week.
But the Eastbourne 3rd XI skipper’s efforts were in vain as they lost by seven wickets to St Peter’s 3rd XI in the East Sussex League Division 6.
Tibble was the top scorer as Eastbourne were bowled out 168.
In reply, Joe Hacker and Jack Trubshaw took a wicket each but St Peter’s reached the target in the 29th over.
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