Sussex Martlets CC v MCC (40 overs per side)
MCC XI – 220 for 5 (G. Adair 60 not out, E. Hyde 52, A. Cope 43 not out)
Sussex Martlets XI – 201 for 5 (Toby Pullan 59, Jordan Shaw 40 not out, Toby Shepperson 36)
The Martlets made our first trip of the season to Arundel Castle to face the MCC. In a game limited to 40-overs-a-side by COVID-restrictions, the MCC won the toss and unsurprisingly chose to bat on what looked like a typical Arundel batsman’s paradise. Jordan Shaw and Rafe Liebers bowled with good pace and managed to extract some bounce with the new ball, but the MCC openers made good use of the conditions to add 63 for the first wicket in 13 overs. It was the skipper who pegged the visitors back with his wily wicket-to-wicket dobbers, trapping one opener in front before getting one to nip away from the startled number 3 and hit the top of off. Hyde and Adair ensured there would be no collapse with assured half-centuries each, and both were well set entering the last 10 overs. With the MCC now looking to accelerate, Shaw, Liebers, and Joe O’Gorman took a wicket each in successive overs to leave MCC on 155-5 from 33 overs and give us real hope of keeping them below 200. However, Adair and Cope had other ideas, and their blistering unbroken partnership of 65 from the final 7 overs allowed them to reach a challenging total of 220-5.
The interval saw the rare (these days) sight of the players and officials retiring to the marquee for a catering lunch, and it was much appreciated by all.
In reply, the MCC new ball pair of Barnard and Roberts proved difficult to score against, and the required run rate quickly rose above a-run-a-ball with one of our openers (Carter) back in the gazebo. The Tobys Pullan and Shepperson kept us in the hunt with a 78-run 2nd wicket partnership, but when Pullan was fourth man out with 100 runs still required and only 11 overs left, defeat by a wide margin looked likely. However some clean hitting from George Read (34 from 19 balls) and Jordan Shaw (40 not out from 37 balls) gave the MCC a scare and lent some respectability to the final score line, with the Martlets finishing 19 runs short on 201-5.
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