Fresh from the previous weeks league decider where Hailsham came out champions of Division 5 and promoted to the highest league in the clubs history, Hailsham 1st XI travelled to Lewes Priory in the semi-final of the Intersport Trophy looking to move one step closer to the double in this historical year.
Khullar (2-22) and Andrew Anthony (0-17) started well, but to no reward. Khullar bowled some tight lines to keep the pressure on Lewes Priory. Unable to find a consistent line and length in an ultimately disappointing spell, Andrew Anthony was replaced by the 16 year old Matt Anthony (4-13), to great reward. Bowling with maturity beyond his years, Matt remained patient, bowled tight lines throughout his spell. Tom McDonald (1-20) replaced Khullar, and continued his impressive form – which could have seen him take many more wickets that the one he did get.
Shankar Bala (2-14) and Shibin Abraham (1-15) also impressed in the middle overs, with Bala taking his a crucial wicket in his first over. By this point, it was not a case of if Hailsham would bowl Lewes Priory our, but when. Some vital lower order runs helped Lewes Priory creep up to 107 before Varun Khullar came back into the attack to removed the final two wickets in the same over.
After a solid bowling effort, and an under par 108 runs required, Hailsham looked to fix the ills of last weekend where lower order runs were required. Scott Pearce (0) fell early to an LBW, before Norwood (5) was caught and bowled. With Rob Wilkinson (4) also falling to an LBW decision, Hailsham found themselves 13-3. The ghosts of last weekend would not come back to haunt them however, as Matt Dawber (56*) and Varun Khullar (38*) stabilised the innings and saw Hailsham home. It was a steady mix of the usual big hitting that both men are accustomed to, mixed with careful batting. The pair had taken the responsibility to see the game through, and done just that.
This victory sees Hailsham drawn against league rivals Little Common Ramblers in the final on Saturday 15th September at Hailsham Recreation Ground.
The IQ Builders Merchant Man of the Match goes to Matt Anthony for his 4-13 from seven overs that included 3 maidens. It was a top bowling effort from the 16 year old, showing maturity and patience beyond his years.