By Sam Carter
In this plum fixture at the Castle, a spirited Martlets team fell short against a very powerful MCC XI.
Inserted on a damp wicket, the Martlets lost six wickets before lunch, under the sympathetic gaze of Trinidadian legend Deryck Murray, who had turned up with his wife just too late to see son Mike chop one on. Only the impertinent George Martin and imposing Mark Trubshaw edged into double figures.
MCC bore a ruthless mien, and over lunch the Martlets were ruefully thinking of early pints in the Black Rabbit. However, a brilliant counter-attacking century from guest South African Marno Pretorius of Mayfield, striking cleanly and making light of the seaming conditions, enabled a declaration at 224.
MCC set off at a gallop, riding their luck against a well balanced opening attack of Matt Stone and James Newland. The medium pace of Derek Horsham and Michael Murray chiselled a few out, but an unbeaten ton from MacVicar at better than a run a ball meant that the visitors, ably led by Matt Banes, cruised home to victory with only five wickets down. The indefatigable James Newland was the pick of the Martlets bowling.
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