Finally, the rain ceased! And the Castle and its baying fans we in raptures as the Martlets contested a fierce encounter against a strong South Wales Hunts side.
In unconventional Arundel fashion, SWH won the toss and elected to bowl, the wicket being typically straightforward, evened out by the slow outfield due to the inclement weather of the past few weeks. Stalwart Sam Carter (accompanied by his trustee cut short) opened the batting for Martlets with debutant and Buxted Park overseas Arslan Khan. Khan looked majestic for his 17, hitting 2 gorgeous cover drives, before he was caught wonderfully by Mr S. Reeves (more on him later) with some additional help from messes Shaw and Loughton’s commentators curse about how well he was playing. Carter chopped on playing a pull shot, which brought the arrival of McCarthy, who built with Forster, McCarthy the aggressor in the partnership. Forster was out lbw, and McCarthy caught which left a tricky period prior to lunch for Cadle and Trotter.
Lunch must get a mention, something common Arundel goers have become accustomed to. A wonderful beef pie, with piles of herby roasties, veg and gravy to have by the pint full. This may have been the downfall of Trotter’s poorly judged run down the wicket at Reeves post lunch. Jordan Shaw blazed 20 at more than a run a ball before another victim was found to the left arm spinner Reeves. Langham and Loughton also went to Reeves caught in the ring, leaving the Martlets reeling at 126/8 with much time left in the game. Cadle held firm amongst the chaos (A bit like Mr Omkar Khot’s quiff, which didn’t move for the entire day!). 38 off 101 held the Martlets ship above water, and some handy late order runs from Dom Heater hauled the Martlets to 162 from 55 overs and 5 balls.
Jordan Shaw and Josh Coleman were to begin to fight back, and fight back they did. Coleman nagged away whilst Jordan’s blistering 4 over spell brought about 3 early wickets. Inspired genius from Loughton (or Jordan complaining about one of his many ‘niggles’) brought about a change in bowling, and Heater managed to find another breakthrough, caught and bowled on the stroke of tea (which, of course, didn’t disappoint either with the addition of a fantastic Victoria Sponge: a speciality at the Castle). Post tea, a partnership began to build, with close shouts from the bowling of Heater, Langham and ‘Impact Player’, Chairman Paul Walker. Leader Loughton brought himself into the attack and finally a break for the Martlets with an lbw that would have crashed into all 3 of the stumps. Another Loughton wicket left the game going towards an epic finish. However, SWH keeper Blight and Wellington put on 50 for the 7th wicket to take them ever so close. Reeves, however, capped off a spectacular day, finishing 20 not out off 12 balls to take the Hunts home. A very, very deserving man of the match, after his fantastic 21 over spell, which brought him figures of 7/58. Post game, he received an award from Chairman Paul Walker, and followed all other members of the game down to the Black Rabbit for some very well deserved liquor.
As always, thanks to the officials (John Holland and Graham Jackson) and scorers (Adrian Swift and Roger Lusted), as well as Mike on the Mic! Thanks to Arundel’s fantastic catering team, who never cease to amaze in their hospitality.
To all young and old, we hope to see you take part at Arundel/future Martlets fixtures.
All the best,
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