Martlets squirm away with a draw at Wormsley
Sir Paul Getty XI: 212-5 declared (45 overs): M Brewer 81*
Sussex Martlets: 108-6 (31 overs): R Pack 3-19
Sunshine and showers — a description to match the weather and the Martlets performance in this year’s marquee fixture at Wormsley.
Asked to bowl first on a pitch miraculously untouched by the morning downpours, the Martlets made early inroads into the formidable Getty XI top order. Josh Burrows dismissed Henry Blackwell for 10, before the right-hander could repeat the havoc he wrought in this same fixture last year. Ian Cockbain, the Gloucestershire pro, followed soon after in almost identical fashion: trapped leg-before from an inswinger.
From the other end, Ben Davies also found lethal swing, uprooting the off stump of R Greatorex and then going one better by spectacularly cartwheeling the middle stump of H Rossouw.
At 66 for four, the Martlets were in control — only for the ball to stop swinging, whereupon Matt Brewer (fresh from facing Jofra Archer in a Gloucester 2nd XI fixture) and J Rogers began compiling a dangerous partnership. The Getty pair were aided and abetted by an extraordinary eight chances being put down in the field — some trickier than others — and at least 20 runs inexplicably being given away through misfields and overthrows on the most blameless outfield in Christendom.
Skipper Darryl Rebbetts attempted to disrupt matters with a spell of hostile short-pitched bowling and would have done so successfully had a potential catch on the long-leg boundary not disappeared into the bright afternoon sun, leaving fielder Tom Haynes helpless.
It was offspinner Omkar Khot who broke the partnership when Rogers slapped a stinging catch to Simon at short midwicket.
With overs already having been lost to a heavy downpour (after which both teams and spectators were grateful for Wormsley’s small army of groundstaff), the Getty XI began to accelerate but without ever truly breaking the shackles. A Cane struck 38 before the declaration came after 45 overs with the score at 212 for five.
On a true batting surface and a faultless outfield, the Martlets fancied their chances in the run chase. But although there were useful starts for Haynes (20) and Jordan Rory Shaw (26) the sting was taken out of the pursuit with single-figure disappointments for John Ashworth, Simon, Davies and Joe Akers-Douglas. Chiefly responsible was R Pack, the slow left-armer, who finished with three for 19 in eight overs.
Mark Trubshaw was typically belligerent in his 26 not out until, with the game heading for a probable draw, another deluge put an end to the day’s play with seven overs remaining.
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