Sussex Martlets vs Hampshire Hogs (Sun 25th June) report by Jon Peters
The Martlets arrived at Warnford for their fixture against the Hampshire Hogs, to find a beautiful clear (and, as it turns out, hot) day and a ground that looked pristine. Captain Paul Walker lost the toss and the Martlets were asked to field first on a pitch that looked excellent for batting. However, the Martlets struck early with Michael Murray getting Toby Talbot-Williams lbw, while the score was on 13. Murray was among the wickets again shortly after, when Ben Hummel hit a back of a length ball straight to Tim Wergan at square leg.
At 28-2, the Martlets were on top. But a solid partnership for the 3rd wicket between Louis Hanson and James Livingston-Booth began to shift the momentum back the Hogs’ way. After opening spells from Murray and Nick Beechey, captain Walker turned to Ollie Dabinett-Jays and Henry Rydon to try and make further inroads. Both were very unlucky not to pick up a couple of wickets in an excellent spell of bowling, but the Hogs rode their luck in between some very good shots.
It ended up being Jon Peters who broke the partnership by having Livingston-Booth caught at slip by Beechey. At 98-3, this was the Martlets’ last successful breakthrough for a while. Luck was not with them either side of lunch as Hanson, alongside Hogs captain Kumo Sharma, compiled a substantial partnership of 114. Sharma was finally caught by Dabinett-Jays off the bowling of Ben Whelpton for 68 with the score on 212, but Hanson soldiered on regardless, despite a very crafty spell of bowling from the Martlets captain. In company with Khajit Sharma, Hanson raised his first ever century and the Hogs finally declared their innings on 295-4 from 60 overs.
In reply, the Martlets got off to a strong start with openers Wergan and Arran Aris ticking the score along to 37 before the latter was caught at cover off the bowling of Max Del Mer for 11. This brought Peters to the crease and he and Wergan saw the Martlets through to tea for no further loss, with the score reaching 71. After tea, both batsmen picked up where they left off. They offered very few chances and gradually picked up the scoring rate. Wergan was the more fluent of the two and took to the Hogs’ spinners with great delight. Peters battled for a period of time but eventually was able to tick over the strike to Wergan, who raced along to an excellent century.
Upon reaching 3 figures, Wergan went into overdrive with an exceptional display of innovation and power hitting, and just after Peters raised his own 50, Wergan was passing 150. He finally departed on 157 from 98 balls having compiled a mammoth 222 run partnership for the 2nd wicket. It was left to Peters (63*) and Whelpton (25*) to see the Martlets over the line with 13 overs left to go in the match; an excellent result for Walker’s team. The match was played well within the spirit of cricket and was very competitive; a joy to be a part of. Player of the match goes to Wergan for his blistering century.
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