Cryptics 264 – 8 (55.2 overs) Derek Horsham 3 for 45
Sussex Martlets 206 – 9 (49 overs) Michael Murray 49, Simon Birch 45, Sam Carter 43
Cryptics won the toss and elected to bat first on a slightly green-tinged wicket. Horsham and Cantrell bowled steadily for the Martlets, with Cantrell beating the bat on a number of occasions, before Horsham made the early breakthrough courtesy of a sharp catch at 2nd slip by Cantrell. Stafford and Burge put on 100 for the 2nd wicket, with Burge especially looking to take the game away from the Martlets. After some smart work behind the stumps from Seager ended Stafford’s innings, Burge attempted one big hit too many and was brilliantly caught by a diving Geldenhuys at mid-off for 82. Armstong then picked up the gauntlet with a well-made 59, before unfortunately being hit in the face by a return from the boundary and having to retire hurt. Horsham returned for a second spell and picked up two more wickets to finish with 3 for 45, and the Cryptics declared at 264 for 8.
With 50 minutes batting before tea, the Martlets needed to lay a solid base for the tough chase, but found the probing seam and swing of the Cyptics new-ball pair very challenging. When the interval arrived after 13 overs, the innings was in tatters at 25 for 4. Carter steadied the ship and Seager, as always, provided some much needed impetus, but when these two were dismissed in quick succession for 43 and 38, any faint hopes of a Martlets victory were extinguished. Indeed, at the beginning of the last twenty overs, the Martlets were 114 for 7 and faced with the prospect of a heavy and humiliating defeat. Thankfully, skipper Murray found an able ally in young Birch, and these two repelled all that the Cryptics could throw at them for the next hour, while giving the scoreboard a more respectable look. Birch made the game interesting by running himself out off the first ball of the last over, but Murray ensured the draw by seeing off the next 4 balls before losing his wicket on the last delivery of the match going for his fifty, leaving the Martlets innings closed at 206 for 9.
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