Another tense finish against the Yellowhammers
Sussex Martlets 208 (45.3 overs); T Pullan 70
Yellowhammers 210-8 (48.2 overs)
The old adage that catches win matches never rang more true than when the Martlets came up against the Yellowhammers and lost by just two wickets wicket. There have been some epic encounters between these two sides over the years and 2019 was no different.
In absence of the match manager and captain Mike Harrison the Martlets elected to bat first on the usual Tonbridge school surface wasn’t as flat as it looked and turned out to be a good cricket wicket. We were a wicket down in the first over had lost a second by the fifth. Runs flowed but after 10 overs the Martlets were 45 for 3 then 61 for 4. Christian Davis made the only notable score, of 30.
The scoring rate continued to impress yet the constant fall of wickets didn’t, every half chance in the air was being gobbled up by the ‘Hammers and nothing seemed to hit the ground. 105 for 6 became 112 for 7 then quickly 113 for 8 — and this was all before lunch. A ninth-wicket partnership of 37 between Pratt and Pullan (70), the later falling just before lunch, guided the Martlets to the break at 159 for 9 from 33 overs.
Thanks to a last-wicket partnership of 59 between Derek Horsham (22*) batting at No 11 and Pratt (42) batting at No 10 the Martlets innings closed on 208.
The Yellowhammers broke the back of the run chase by reaching 49 for no loss after 14 overs, thanks to two dropped catches before tea. But after tea the Martlets got their act together, with a slip catch (finally) off the bowling of Pratt and a caught behind off Trubshaw (7-1-37-1) removed both openers R Steven (43) and W Gunyon (20) within an over.
Pratt (7-0-23-2) struck again in his final over to remove Johnno Arscott for a breezy 28 but Yellowhammers were cruising at 115 for 3 from 27 overs. Horsham (8-0-37-2) and David Twine (6-1-18-2) bowled well together in tandem taking two wickets apiece, which made the game interesting at 151 for 7 entering the last hour of play.
Unfortunately in this period a couple chances had gone begging although the Martlets did muster a run out, some excellent fielding by Chris Davis. With two wickets remaining and only 15 needed it was going to go to the wire. The Yellowhammers got over the line with just under three overs remaining and won by two wickets.
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