‘Over 40’s’ vs Forty Club
Wednesday 25th August 2021
A Martlets XI packed with batting took to the field against the Forty Club, having been asked to bowl first on what looked to be a shirt front of a pitch at Horsham CC. Early observations of the pitch, combined with a quick outfield, pointed to a a run fest. However, Dave Christmas, graciously allowing the young Matthew Ritchie to bowl down the hill, used all his experience to bowl a tremendous opening spell in which his first 4 overs went for a paltry 11 runs. Ritchie picked up an early wicket with a fine caught & bowled and first change bowler Jeremy McGahan dismissed the Forty Club’s number 3 batsman. With another change of bowling left arm spinner Luke Nelson claimed a wicket in his first over, courtesy of a good catch from Rory Slack and then in Nelson’s next over another superb piece of fielding from Slack produced a run-out to leave the Forty Club stuttering on 88 for 4. Unfortunately, the Martlets could not sustain the pressure and an 86 run partnership for the 5th wicket put the Forty Club back in control. Matthew Ritchie was brought back into the attack, bowling a fine 2nd spell, before a sporting declaration from the Forty Club brought their innings to a close on 237 for 8 in 38 overs, leaving the Martlets 42 overs to chase down the total.
The Forty Club opening bowlers, produced a miserly spell and although the solid opening pair of Michael Loveday and Willie Boulter rarely looked troubled, they received very few loose deliveries and the Martlets fell behind the required rate. In the 16th over, with the loss of the 2nd Martlets wicket, another 203 runs were needed for victory. Luke Nelson joined Simon Shivnarain at the crease and had an immediate impact hitting three 4’s and a 6 in his first 10 balls. This gave impetus to the innings; Shiv, having taken 27 balls to score 5 runs came to the party and moved quickly up through the gears joining Nelson in a 138 runs partnership. Nelson fell for a scintillating 72 from 43 balls. However, 65 runs were still required from 12 overs as Ritchie Jnr strode to the middle. Shiv was now ‘seeing it like a football’ and continued to take the game to the Forty Club. The visiting bowlers had no answer as Shiv hit the ball to all corners of the ground, ably supported by Ritchie who intelligently gave Shiv as much of the strike as possible. A superb run chase finished with 3 overs to spare, with the Martlets enjoying a 7 wicket victory with Shiv finishing with an unbeaten 128. With nearly 500 hundred runs being scored in 77 overs the match was, as predicted, a bowlers graveyard!!!
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