Sussex Martlets won the toss at the beautiful East Grinstead CC which was quickly becoming their second home this season! Martlets had a strong side holding many Sussex premier league giants and division one players Marcus Campopiano, Darryl Rebbetts, George Cave, Jordan Shaw, Mike Murray and Toby Pullan. Campopiano opened the batting, and immediately timed the ball exquisitely. He really made Brunswick after he was dropped at fine leg early on. Martlets did lose Grinstead duo Cave and De Souza to Haywards Heath left arm off spinner Phelps before Jon Peters and Campopiano rebuilt. Campo was the aggressor of the partnership scoring 63 off 48 balls before being dismissed from the final ball before the expected rain break to Phelps. Jordan Shaw resumed after the 30 minute rain delay and began brightly with some flourishing sweeps of Phelps and the spin from Three Bridges recent social media star Patel. Peters picked up his run rate too, striking well over the top of mid on and off as Martlets steamed full pace ahead to a very competitive score. Jordan Shaw moved to his 50 off 52 balls but departed very shortly after being bowled round his legs. An excellent innings that showed what Shaw was capable of with the bat to go compliment his express bowling on a saturday! With only 10 overs to go Rebbetts entered looking to increase the run rate further. Peters registered the third Martlets 50 of the innings with an excellent 65 off 72 balls before being stumped off Phelp’s final ball to take his forth of the innings. Pullen and Cryer came and went quickly in the pursuit of quicks runs before Rebbetts and Ashworth saw Martlets to 282/7. Rebbetts ending on 49 not out off just 32 balls. It would have been the forth half century of the Martlets innings and I am no statistician, but it can’t be very frequent that there are four in one forty over innings from the Martlets!
Martlets went into the field in the blazing sunshine to once again prove weather forecasts in England mean absolutely nothing! The man with the ball on a string, Mike Murray was once again chosen to open the bowling, accompanied by Pullan at the other end. Murray was of course the first to strike with a classic clip to mid wicket. Murray got a second in the exact same fashion before Pullan got in on the act with his own wicket before the first change bowlers of Leg spin Peters and seam of Cryer tested the middle order. Cryer took the valuable wicket of Phelps before NIck Peters showed his magic with ripping leg spinners that Brunswick couldn’t lay a bat on. Regular wickets continued to fall as the strong Martlets side rallied in the sunshine to take firm grip on Brunswick. Peters took three wickets before he was taken off to allow Rebbetts and Ashworth to have a bowl at the lower order. Ashworth and Rebbetts both took a wicket early on in their spells leaving Brunswick 9 down. However, a final flurry from Brunswick after a ball change left Martlets bowling with a soft sponge and some excellent resistance was shown by the final wicket pairing. They put on 66 for the final wicket and were only broken due to the returning Murray in the penultimate over. Brunswick finished 212 all out, falling 70 runs short. An excellent day capped off an excellent weekend of cricket at Saint Hill with over 1000 runs scored on the wicket, showed why I believe there will be plenty more Martlets cricket to be played at East Grinstead. A great team performance with everyone contributing and enjoying their day of fine cricket. Peters ended with 3-34 and Murray with 3-33 were the main contributors with the ball, but wickets for each bowler was pleasing for the captain. I look forward to match managing once again for the Martlets next sunday with the visit from Frogs at another exceptional ground of Horsham CC.
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