Sussex Martlets 289 – 2, Andrew Hartridge 119, Nick Seager 102, Mike Murray 47*
West Chiltington & Thakeham 256 – 9, Grant Morish 100, Paul Lack 6 – 75
The picturesque West Chiltington cricket ground provided a lovely setting for this inaugural fixture with the West Chiltington & Thakeham CC. It’s superb outfield, surprisingly green given the hot summer we are enjoying, and a wicket that batsmen would love to roll up and take with them throughout the season, provided for a wonderful day’s cricket.
It was a pleasure to invite Peter Jones to skipper the side, a long-standing Martlet and current President of the West Chiltington & Thakeham CC. A very strong Sussex Martlets side comprised batting down to number eleven and ten bowlers! Peter won the toss and elected to bat. Our openers were Andrew Hartridge and Nick Seager who put on a magnificent opening partnership of 188 off 25 overs with Nick scoring his century before lunch and Andrew shortly after lunch. Nick’s final score was 102 and Andrew fell on 119. Mike Murray came in at number three and continued the healthy run rate and finished not out on 47. Peter declared the Sussex Martlets innings on 289 for 2 off 42.3 overs.
The West Chiltington & Thakeham openers started well putting on 52 runs before Nick Creed captured their first wicket. Nick opened the bowling with Will Jordan, a former Junior Martlet with Nick building up a fast pace and getting more out of the placid wicket. The fall of the first wicket brought Grant Morish to the crease. Grant was signed by Sussex County CC at the age of 17 and accompanied the Sussex Martlets on their Millenium Tour to Australia at that age. He is now 27 and a very accomplished all rounder. He scored a powerful 100 before being caught by Nick Seager off the bowling of Paul Lack. Had he stayed at the wicket, the final score may well have been different! I have invited Grant to become a Martlet and he will be a wonderful addition to the playing membership. Details to follow. Our opposition were making a very good fist of chasing down the Martlet total and at one stage it looked as if they were going to pip us at the post. However, in a wonderful spell of controlled off spin bowling, Paul Lack took control of proceedings together with Mike Murray and a final burst from Nick Creed. Wickets fell at regular intervals and in the final over, the Martlets required one wicket to win. West Chiltington & Thakeham’s 10 and 11 held out and they finished on 256 for 9 off 53 overs. Paul Lack finished with analysis of 22 overs, 4 maidens, six for 75, a terrific performance. Mention should also be made of Greg West’s three magnificent stumpings that contributed to an all round splendid performance from a strong Sussex Martlets side who were wonderful ambassadors for the club.
This was the inaugural fixture with this club and I received enormous praise from them for the manner in which we approached the game and they have asked us to make this a permanent fixture and that we play in their cricket week. This will be put to the Cricket Committee for ratification. I would like to thank West Chiltington & Thakeham CC for their generous hosting of this match.
The Sussex Martlets side in batting order was: Andrew Hartridge, Nick Seager, Mike Murray, Nick Creed, Will Jordan, Greg West, Paul Lack, Peter Jones (Capt), Colin Oliver-Redgate, Chris Tucker, Sean Ashfield.
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