Sussex Martlets (289-9 in 55 overs; G Holman 58, J Lamb 54, M Rynolds 53; C Paget 4-39) lost to MCC (292-4 in 39.1 overs; O Durell 105, W MacVicar 73, C Hammond 60) by six wickets
An innings of rare brutality from Will MacVicar put the Sussex Martlets to the sword in the marquee fixture against MCC at Arundel Castle.
After the Martlets took 55 workmanlike overs in scoring 289 for 9, MacVicar arrived at the crease only three balls into the MCC run chase. When he departed 40 balls later – run-out from point – he had 73 runs to his name, 13 fours, two sixes and had sent the Martlets opening bowler and St James Montefiore overseas player, Ben Hawkes, to hospital with split webbing after an attempt to stop a particularly vicious straight drive.
After Sunday’s assault, the physical wounds may heal sooner than the memories of MacVicar’s innings fade. A product of the Loughborough University cricket academy and Beckenham Cricket Club, the 24-year-old has made four first-class appearances and this was his second outing at Arundel Castle – in the corresponding fixture last year he won the game with a 79-ball century.
This time his innings swiftly laid the foundations for a six-wicket victory and in doing so he overshadowed an evenly-paced century by Oliver Durell. Chris Hammond, who has previously played in Martlet colours, made 60.
Sam Carter, the Martlets captain, admits to feeling powerless as MCC chased down his team’s total in under 40 overs.
“Our bowlers toiled manfully but MCC always bring a strong batting side and they knew damn well that the pitch was going to be an absolute road. By winning the toss and putting us in they were basically telling us that they were going to chase down whatever total we set.
“MacVicar was hitting four fours and over off good balls. I’d be pleased if he didn’t turn up again next year!”
Watched by about 120 spectators enjoying the unseasonable May sunshine, the Martlets innings was built around a trio of half centuries from George Holman (58), Peter Lamb (54) and Matt Reynolds (53). Chris Paget, the MCC offspinner, made best use of the dry surface, operating with a leg slip for much of his spell and finishing with figures of 4-39 from 11 overs.
The Martlets’ other fixtures at Arundel Castle this season are against Aldridge Academy (Thursday, May 26), Junior Martlets (Friday, August 12), Lady Mary’s XI (Sunday, August 14), Band of Brothers (Tuesday, August 30), Old Gregorians (Tuesday, September 6) and Hurlingham Club (Friday, September 9).
Playing members of MCC, whose home ground is Lord’s, can apply to feature in more than 500 matches a year but the fixture against the Martlets at Arundel Castle is traditionally one of the most oversubscribed.
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