Martlets V Hampshire Hogs CC at Warnford
26th June 2022
Hoggs 312-5 declared, 54 overs, (T May 97, C Neville 56, M Love 59 N Beechey (57-2)
Martlets 166 all out 53 overs (M Ritchie 30)
On a beautiful summers day – we thought it was hot, but hadn’t anticipated July – there are few more charming cricket grounds than Warnford.
Matt Love, the opposition skipper, had suggested wine with lunch and tea to make for a more convivial atmosphere. It worked! The Martlets were grateful for some fizz after bowling 35 overs before lunch (surely close to record breaking)?
However, despite an excellent 10 overs from Jonny Keyte and a fine opening spell from Ben Whelpton, we struggled to make inroads. Up stepped young Matt Ritchie to bag our first wicket, LBW….when there was an even more confident appeal in the same over.
Chris Pring, the only non-teenager (by a matter of months), from the opening quartet, displayed the same enthusiasm and industry he applied to his fielding (and later batting). But sadly, and unluckily, no wickets resulted.
Soon after lunch, Tom May, on 97, picked out our weakest fielder and aimed a skier with the intention of running 3 before I dropped it. Remarkably I didn’t! That success didn’t rub off on my bowling which deteriorated rapidly. Nick Beechey picked up 2 wickets … he deserved more from his 10 overs. Mike Murray caught and bowled their skipper, who promptly declared.
Fielding point – on debut, goes to Josh Medley – a future Martlet star in the making – great find. Phil Savage, take a bow. For that and for some admirably enthusiastic keeping.
Josh opened and looked solid, as did Luke Forster. In our last 3 games with the Hogs the Martlets have scored almost 800 runs.
Tragically this wasn’t going to be one of those days. Our first 7 batsmen got themselves in. And then got themselves out.
312 would have been a big ask for any Martlets side (especially after a long time in the field and all that wine) and we were only 8 balls away from a creditable draw.
However, it was yours truly facing and I was (almost) inevitably clean bowled by Charlie Gabb…whose barrister father (who played for the Hogs at the last minute) had done the equivalent to my very pleasant drugs smuggler 2 days earlier.
At least we were all able, after a rejuvenating shower, to have a pleasant beer, in true Martlet style, with the opposition, umpires and scorers.
I fear my erstwhile client`s showers will be less relaxed for the next few years.
Many thanks to all involved. To the Hogs for their hospitality, to Ami Johnson and Jim Lock for umpiring and Kevin Medhurst and Trevor Drake for scoring.
Despite the defeat it was all worthwhile. It always is. The journey back to Chichester was especially heartening, with Chris and Jonny, at either end of the Martlet experience spectrum, both expressing, with genuine enthusiasm, how much they had enjoyed their day.
We`ll bat first next time. I promise.
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