Brighton College (204 for eight from 35 overs; M Smith 77, T Chalmers 61) beat Sussex Martlets (157 for eight from 35 overs; D Sear 4-17) by 47 runs
Halfway through the first innings of this defeat, with Brighton College attempting to rebuild after being reduced to 20 for three and 63 for five, the Martlets brimmed with confidence. At the midway point in the second innings, too, with the Martlets laying the groundwork for a run-a-ball chase, the match still looked as if it might turn in the visiting team’s favour.
Instead, the Brighton College schoolboys twice snuffed out the threat with impressive maturity.
The Martlets bowlers started brightly with a wicket from the first ball of the match for Josh Burrows. By drinks at the 18-over mark, the College had lost five wickets to the combination of Burrows, Paul Lack and Paul Walker (the latter with a sharp return catch) and ought to have been contemplating a final score, in a 35-over innings, of somewhere in the 120 to 150 region.
Any such negativity was put to bed by an excellent partnership of 121 runs in 17 overs between M Smith (77) and T Chalmers (61). Smith, having started watchfully, became increasingly expansive as the innings progressed and was dismissed only in the penultimate over, caught at long-on. The left-handed Chalmers, who appeared to switch almost instantly from out-of-form to bang in-form somewhere in the middle of his innings, was particularly effective over the leg-side.
No Martlets bowler could get much of a handle on either player and were stymied by several catches missed or dropped. The scoreboard only stopped ticking at 204 for eight after 35 overs. Some recovery from a team of players who should have been revising for their exams.
In reply (and after a terrific tea) James Cruickshank (49) and Joe Waylett (19) made the requisite steady start. By the 18-over mark, scores were approximately level with the Martlets having lost only Waylett to a needless run-out. A run-rate of almost eight an over was asked for, but with wickets in the bank it was a distinct possibility.
The introduction of the College’s medium pacers and spinners, all bowling with a tight, ring field, put paid to that. Operating with the control learnt in school cricket, where batsmen tend to be extracted by a steady build-up of pressure rather than momentary brilliance, Brighton College did not let the Martlets batsmen expand.
Two giant sixes struck one-handed by Mark Trubshaw gave the visitors something to cheer but it was too little too late. After 35 overs the Martlets had reached only 157, succumbing to a 47-run defeat. D Sear finished with impressive figures of four for 17, his wickets all taken as the pressure grew.
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