Martlets youth policy pays dividends at Hurst
Report by John Bettridge
Sussex Martlets 193 (33.4 overs); Harry Rollings 56; Matt Hedges 3 for 9, Ben Caiden 3 for 11
Hurstpierpoint College 152 (34.4 overs); Joe White 3 for 26
Very heavy overnight rain had turned the ground at Hurstpierpoint College into a lake by 5am. Although the tide had receded by the time the teams arrived, there were still some very muddy crease areas on the square. The drying time was passed watching some of England’s performance against Australia in the staff common room and an early lunch. What had been planned as a timed game turned into a 35-over match and started at 1.45pm. Toby Pullan called well and the Martlets went out to bat.
The openers, Pullan and Harry Rollings, needed to be watchful at the start. Sadly Toby departed early but the situation was stabilised by a 113-run partnership between Rollings and Greg Wisdom, during which Rollings completed an excellent 50 that included a superb flat six through the legside. Both fell in quick succession to the off spin of Freddie Longley.
Our guest Apoorv Wankhadi, a Ranji Trophy player, who is a summer guest and playing occasionally at Lindfield, got to understand a damp English surface while he and Jo Gilligan moved the score along.
We were happy enough with the score standing at 183 for 4 with 5 overs remaining but had reckoned without the entry of Matt Hedge into the attack along with Ben Caiden who effectively sank us so that 6 wickets fell in the space of 3.4 overs with the addition of only 10 runs. The school certainly deserved the turnaround in fortunes as the bowling was steady and excellent catches were taken to leave a competitive target. Excellent for concentrating the mind!
Fast opening spells from Joe White and Jamie Hutchings restricted the scoring rate early on from which the school found it hard to recover. Two outstanding catches from Jo Gilligan started the Martlet move into the school batting. The Pullan claw plucked another outstanding catch from thin air. Steady nagging bowling from Wankhadi, Tom Fairfax, Felix Kenney and Wisdom kept up the pressure and the Martlet fielding was something special. The felled giant Redwood, which is Hutchings, pulled off some amazing stops with one linked to a fine run out. Rollings chipped in at the end and all ten wickets were taken with the game ending in the final over.
A strong, young side certainly did the Martlets proud and clearly enjoyed playing together, which is just what is needed, in my view, to encourage the schoolboys to want to taste Martlet cricket for themselves. My thanks to all of them for making themselves available and to Jim Gee our umpire and to Midge, our scorer, of course.
Go back to all fixtures in 2019
For detailed information on each venue, please visit our Venues page