Last month’s best Martlets
The Sussex Martlets are 12 games into the season already, with six wins, a single draw, four defeats and the one over-40s game rained off. Here are the stand-out individual performances from the early part of the season.
1. Henry Blackwell & Darryl Rebbetts — 200+ partnership v Eton Ramblers
Conditions were favourable, and the bowling attack was not the strongest that the Martlets will face this season, but Blackwell, left, (137*) and Rebbetts, right, (117*) put on a devastating show in Eton. Ruthless and highly watchable, it set up a thumping 124-run victory.
2. Dan Smith — 126 v MCC
Of the three Martlets centuries scored in May, Smith’s was probably the most impressive because it rescued his team from a precarious position of 50 for five, against MCC in the annual fixture at Arundel. The match boiled down to an excellent finale, with MCC scoring the winning runs with only a handful of balls to spare.
3. Graham Bennison — 4-11 v Ardingly College
Last year, not a single Martlets bowler took a five-wicket haul. So far this season four Martlets bowlers have managed a four-fer, with Graham Bennison the pick of the figures thanks to his 4-11 in the victory over Ardingly College. An honourable mention here to Michael Murray, who took four MCC wickets at Arundel Castle.
Walker’s disaster . . . and redemption
Brighton College needed 24 to win off the final over when Martlets captain Josh Burrows recalled Paul Walker to the attack. Three legitimate balls later, Brighton College had won, with a clutch of sixes into the leg side. The experience would have broken lesser men, but Walker bounced back only one week later against Seaford College, taking the key wicket of Hugo Gillespie, the junior Sussex representative bowled round his legs in an impressive Martlets fightback to victory.
Shaw in the Sussex 2nd XI
Last season’s bowler of the year, Jordan Shaw, has been representing Sussex 2nd XI in a variety of matches this spring. Performances have been encouraging. A fuller report of Shaw’s experiences in the Sussex reserve team will feature later this year.
Former IPL player in the Martlet ranks
The Martlets have always relied on overseas pros from around Sussex but Apoorv Wanhade is believed to be the first of them to have been previously contracted to the IPL, having been picked up in the 2018 auction by Kolkata Knight Riders. Wankhade, the Lindfield overseas, represented the Martlets against Aldridge Academy, playing himself in and then smearing the bowling everywhere before being dismissed on the stroke of lunch.
Haynes and Clarke put us to the sword
It would be churlish not to mention two highly impressive performances against the Martlets. In the defeat by Brighton Brunswick, Tom Haynes (now representing Loughborough MCCU) made 176, as part of a Brunswick total of 325-9. And in the defeat by Ardingly College, Tom Clarke, who captained Sussex under-17s last year, made an unbeaten 183.