Sussex Martlets 195 for 3 dec. (M Campopiano 102)
Horsham 196 – 3 (M Bidlake 78no)
Sussex Martlets Lost by 7 Wkts.
On a dull damp Thursday afternoon the Martlets arrived at Horsham cricket club more in hope than expectation that they would get a full game in and if we did, then certainly hoping that the Martlets would be able to bat second on the usual, good looking Horsham wicket.
Sadly Martlets lost the toss and were unsurprisingly invited to bat first.
We made a circumspect start against an accurate attack which combined pace & bounce at one end with extreme lack of pace at the other! After 23 overs with the score at 70 – 2, the incessant drizzle got harder and the umpires took the players off the field for an early tea in the hope that it would blow over and we’d still be able to get a full game in.
Indeed after the early tea and a break of about an hour we were able to resume but left us in a bit of a quandary as to when to declare on a good wicket in a non-limited overs game. We needed a lot more runs very quickly and Marcus Campopiano obliged by upping the rate and scoring a magnificent 87 ball 102 (despite the scoreboard only showing 92 when he was caught on the long-on boundary going for his fifth 6 in 6 balls!).
Joe Waylett and Toby Pullan continued to score quickly and the Martlets declared on 195 for 6 from 36 overs, leaving a strong Horsham batting line-up 55 minutes and 20 overs to get them.
Whilst blessed with a plethora of off spinners amidst our ranks, the Martlets were rather short of seamers and whilst Nick Baron bowled with pace and accuracy, unfortunately it was a different matter at the other end and Horsham got off to a flier, getting to 47 -1 off 6 overs!
Despite valiant efforts by a variety of off spin bowlers to slow the scoring rate (led bravely by Raj Chaudhuri), Horsham found life rather too comfortable and aided by some relatively straight forward dropped catches, they cantered to victory with M Bidlake scoring an undefeated, though definitely not chanceless, 78 not out in the 32nd over.
3 of the last 20 overs still remained to be bowled, and the captain couldn’t help feeling he’d been a little too generous with the declaration, given the strength of Horsham’s top order, though if a couple of chances had been taken this report may well have read very differently.
That being said, everyone had either a bat or a bowl and we did get in a full game of cricket. Paul Walker will certainly remember the day, or maybe he won’t, after having to leave the field following a head to ball encounter with a full blooded drive at mid-off!
Thanks to Bob Daisley for umpiring and to Midge Martin for scoring. Both performed impeccably, as normal though I did think Bob should have taken us off for bad light after the 30th over because the way Roberts was hitting the ball, our fielders were definitely in danger towards the end!
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