Once again, at the start of their cricket week, Buxted Park CC hosted the Martlets at their picturesque ground. Before the toss a compromise of sorts was brokered between those who wanted to play a limited overs and those who favoured a declaration game, resulting in a 45 over game.
With what looked like a strong and deep bowling line up, Martlets won the toss and put Buxted in. Martlets started with a double D pace attack (Daniel Baptiste and Daniel James), both of whom bowled well, but without reward. On a track that, once a batter was settled, gave the bowlers little if any help, runs began to flow behind and square of the wicket. The introduction of Ben Whelpton’s controlled line and length slowed the scoring down, but it was Harry Walker at the other end who brought the Martlets their first wicket, with the Buxted score at 108. All the while, George Read was playing relatively freely, save for in one over from Whelpton – who really deserved a wicket, but finished his 9 overs without a scalp.
Mark Trubshaw with Whelpton, and then Trubshaw with Mike Murray for a couple of overs exerted some control over the Buxted batters who, when they edged or miscued, managed to find the gaps. Read (101) brought up his well earned century with a six, before hitting Trubshaw to mid on. At that stage Buxted were 184 for 2 off 26 overs. The Buxted runfest continued, despite Paul Walker beguiling the middle order to end with 3 for 57 off 6 overs and Matthew Ritchie bowling well for his one wicket. Buxted ended on what some might think was an excessive 357 for 6 off their 45 overs (Redding Barnes 57, Guy Moore 69 n.o.).
Undaunted by the Buxted score, Martlets looked to build an innings. Having played a glorious cover drive for 4, Tom Naish was unfortunate to be run out with a direct hit. Mike Murray (62) and Freddie Ferro (63) both crafted fine innings, but the Buxted bowling showed no signs of wanting to open up the game, and both fell trying to hit out. Baptiste and Whelpton went cheaply, looking to increase the run rate to the required 14 an over, before Trubshaw (19 n.o. off 9 balls (strike rate 211)) and Harry Walker (8 n.o) started to hit out. With the Buxted attack still pressing hard, the rain began to fall steadily and then heavily, and the game was abandoned with Martlets needing a mere 170 off 13 overs with 5 wickets in hand.
As limited overs games go, this one was a fine advertisement for well curated declaration cricket. Perhaps next year we can give that format a go…..
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