Stan’s the Man but not for the Martlets!
After the previous weeks journey planning time challenge, Streat proved to be more of a location challenge as several Martlets missed the entrance to Middleton Manor in favour of turning round in less substantial residences driveways. Again another possible first visit for Martlet cricketers and with a stronger team than against Wadhurst , both in number and ability. We were however up against Julian Hunt and Dave Christmas (back from holiday) both playing for the hosts.
Losing the toss, the Martlets were in the field ,resembling more a limestone pavement due to the hardness, clints and grykes that were present. With the opening attack of Kapadia (shoulder injury) and Cantrell (fever bug) together for the first time this season, hopes were high for an early breakthrough. However,the jet lagged Hunt (straight off the plane from Vegas) had his own CSI (Cricket Shot Initiative), that is to hit the ball to all parts from ball one thus quelling the initial banter. This he accomplished and indeed set the tone as the first 4 batsmen reached the retiring point at 40 giving only one half chance amongst the few miscues. To add insult to injury this was whilst wearing a Martlet shirt. Eventually Jeremy McGahan took the wicket of Bat #5 with the score on 171 in the 28th over. After that the run rate did reduce and a couple more wickets taken but a score of 245-3 was considered gettable in the circumstances with our batting lineup.
In reply after tea, the Martlets opened with Kapadia and Keeling, possibly not the obvious pairing but a positive one nonetheless. After Deepak was adjudged LBW for 2 ( wicketkeeper quote “Oh he’s given it” gives an indication) in came the Sec to reprise his score of10 from the previous week. THen followed a partnership that put the Martets back in the game between the entertaining and unconventional Keeling and Phil Savage , rediscovering form after the previous week’s low score. Both retired and momentum was maintained by Goodacre and Bushell as the score mounted so that at 26 ovrs the scores were the same (with the Martlets having lost more wickets – 4).
At this point the game changed as the legendary Stan Spiegel (took the game up at 50 is nearly 80 and has over 1000 wickets for Streat) came on for the 27th over (his first) , it went for 5 runs but 3 wickets fell to the tantalising temptation of slow lobbed deliveries, the key thing being for the most part, they were straight. HIs next over brought another wicket and with 9th (returned Phil Savage) falling in the 30th over with the score at 184 it was now down to whether the returning Neil Bushell and the surviving Jeremy McGahan could score another 62 in 10 overs. It was a tall order but Jeremy was playing Stan well and Neil being watchful mixed with belligerence there was a chance and the total increased steadily until Jeremy finally succumbed to give Stan his 5th wicket with the score on 215.
All agreed it was a good game, most importantly, Stan as fixture secretary has invited us back, we can only guess his motive! Adjournment to the Greyhound followed by 5 to the Tandoori in Hassocks.
- Jules hitting a magnificent lofted on drive, only to see it hit a crack and not go for 4…
- Jeremy taking a wicketin the 28th over when all seemed lost “Can you put the wickets up?” was the call to the scoreboard operator
- Jules, after a defensive shot by Alan to cover, hurling the ball at the non strikers end to yield a boundary. This called his loyalty into doubt.
- Dave Christmas commenting he should stop trying to bowl with guile and just throw it up in the air
- Our largest crowd this season – around 20 primary school age kids with adults in tow, sadly, watching us in the field they soon gave up and left
Alan Newman (this time in lieu of Neil “I’m no good at writing” Bushell
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