For those who like an Opus Magnum, here is Johnny Heaven’s match report from the win against the Brigands at Broadhalfpenny Down:
The skipper had a lot of making up to do after the embarrassing 10 wicket loss to Goodwood in late July. He was also surprised he hadn’t been told his services were no longer required!
We arrived at the beautiful Broadhalfpenny Down ground, home of the Broadhalfpenny Brigands Cricket Club, on a day that not many would want to field first in as it was roasting hot!!! The surroundings were exceptionally splendid and perfect for cricket.
The first bit of business the skipper had to take care of was winning the toss and after asking the squad what they would go for Heads or Tails (the vote was 6 Heads & 4 Tails) the skipper decided to go against the majority as Tails never fails. Tails was called and the coin is tossed high into the air only to land on its side and roll painfully slowly, eventually with gravity not being able to hold it up any longer yep you guessed it …. tails.
With the skipper pleased as punch he could have a sit down the Martlets openers strapped on their pads in the blistering heat and walked out to take on the task of setting a quick declaration. Peter Lamb and George Briance opened the batting and got the innings off to a good solid start. Lamb hit a few lusty blows straight past the bowler for four but unfortunately tapped one to square leg who grabbed it in his mid-drift that brought Rob Carver to the crease. This pairing seemed to take a fancy to the Brigands bowling and proceeded to take the score to 140 for the fall of the next wicket with George and Rob hitting glorious cover drives and cut shots along the very quick outfield.
George was the next wicket to fall with a wonderfully made 60 including 12 fours! Rob soon fell after for an equally well made 55 and this brought Joe Waylett and Club chairman Stuart Ritchie to the crease unfortunately Joe was caught and Stuart was bowled leaving the skipper with flash backs of the Goodwood fixture. The score was now 157 for 5 with Darryl Rebbetts and John Ashworth now at the crease. John was trapped LBW to a ball that stayed quite low for another 0, this brought Paul Walker to the crease (who reminded us that he had not yet been out in August) and the pair started to steady the ship after the loss of a flurry of wickets. Paul got stuck in and batted for a fair few deliveries and hit an amazing pull shot for 6 – arguably the shot of the day! He then fell for 10 a few balls later. This brought to the crease the arrival of a cricketer whom I hadn’t seen for a winter and half a cricket season, the individual I am talking about is Michael (iron man / triathlete) Murray in unbelievable shape. There is a reason I haven’t mentioned Darryl’s score as of yet but let me just inform you of his scoring shots (4,1,4,1,4,4,1,4,1,4,4,4,1,6,6,4,1,1,4,4,1,4,6,4,4,1,4) a quite remarkable 81 with some truly wonderful cricket shots. Darryl and Muzzer managed to take the score to 259 declared off 36 overs! The time was 4.25pm and with a tea interval of 20 minutes, the Martlets reflected briefly on an outstanding effort as one also had to feel a little pride for the Brigands skipper had managed to bag himself 4 wickets.
We took the short break to take on plenty of fluids and gear ourselves up for Brigands innings and the potentially tricky task of bowling the opposition out.
The skipper opened up with himself and the triathlete Muzzer and both started well keeping the scoring to a minimum. Muzzer made early break throughs and bowled 6 overs for 10 runs and bagging 3 wickets – a great spell of bowling. The skipper bowled 6 also for 14 runs and took one wicket – the batsmen decided to leave a ball which pitched on the 5th stump and turned back sharply to take his off pole – the discussion was who potentially was more bemused by this delivery the batsmen or the skipper who managed to actually turn one – we agree it was the skipper. The Martlets had gotten off to a very good start so in the spirit of the game the skipper decided to throw the ball to Paul Walker to try and open the game up. Paul bowled extremely well and bowled 6 overs for 20 runs for 3 wickets. John Ashworth came on at the same time as Paul and with all of his winter training, had the ball hooping all over the place but unfortunately didn’t manage to take a wicket but nonetheless a top effort.
The clock had now ticked to 6pm and the final hour -the Brigands were up against it 7 down and batting out for the draw was their main focus. Cometh the hour – cometh the Shaw – that’s Jordan Shaw whilst the rest of the team were all very hot and salivating at the prospect of a cold beverage at the Bat & Ball which can be seen from the wicket and is located just outside of the ground. Jordan and Joe Waylett were now on and Joe bowled well but didn’t manage to get a break through. This meant Jordan (surprisingly not sporting any Sussex attire for the day) had the job of removing the tail. He managed to nick off one of the Brigands only for Darryl at 2nd slip to parry into the air and miss the grab. Jordan then thought he had better just bowl these guys out and with one batsman clean bowled with a cracking leg stump yorker, the next with a fended delivery which popped up to Paul Walker at short mid-wicket and finally the Brigands skipper whose off stump went hurtling towards the boundary (everyone loves a cartwheel) for a Martlets win!
It was a wonderful day had with great people! We bump elbows and made our way to the Bat & Ball for a well-earned beverage.
Many thanks to all the players and the Brigands for hosting the fixture. Also to Mike Charman and Peter Danks for umpiring and scoring this fixture. Next year will be a much closer match.
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