Arguably,a fixture where the Martlets have dominated for several years. Would the trend be bucked, or would business continue as usual?
Martlets call tails,and opt to bat. The wicket was as true and unyielding as usual. Hector Loughton took-up the reins and plundered 87 from 76 balls, with trademark cover drives aplenty. Jens Richardson played second fiddle throughout the innings until lunch. We ate well on 162 for 1. Richardson departed for a strong 62 and made way for James Waylett, who creating an innings of 54 from 34 deliveries which – to my humble eye – I would class as one of the most selfless, calculated and important innings played by a Martlet: he opened up the game.
Steve Eke, who possesses an easy touch while batting, carried his bat to a breezy 50 not out by the declaration. On Waylett’s departure, the unflappable Will Rydon stroked his way to 18 not out, and alongside Eke, left the crease with the innings closed at 288 for 3 from 43.5 overs.
Throughout our innings, we realised we were a player down. Alex Collins, through no fault, had to work and was replaced by Tim Peters. Tim is an old pro from Littlehampton CC, who duly opened the bowling with a keen Will Forster. We were indebted to Paul Lack for his swift commandeering of Peters, which took place alongside our innings and resulted in the bowler arriving after lunch.
The home side sped to 62, whereupon Lack made the first of three personal breakthroughs. Derek Horsham further stemmed the tide with a fortunate brace of victims. Sharp fielding, bowling and catching ensued. 203 for 7 with ten overs to be bowled. Odds-on Martlets, surely?
Enter Messrs J. Hodgson, G. Stewart and G. Peck. Peck’s innings of 57 runs from 24 balls turned the match on its head. Add Stewart’s 41 not out with Hodgson’s 30 not out, and it amounted to a home win, with a final score of 289 for 8, and only one over left to be completed.
Our sincerest thanks must go to our hosts’ captain, Stephen Hodgson, for providing a hearty lunch and a thrilling match.
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