I doubt there will be a better match all summer than the one played out between the Martlets and the Yellowhammers.
A young Martlet side was gathered together (the manager was 12 years older than the next youngest player!) to play on the Head at Tonbridge School. The Martlets won the toss and elected to bat on a typically flat wicket made for batting. At 10-2 from 6 it was a difficult start, losing Adam Davies and David Twine, but then Brad Gaylor and Alistair Stanley came together to put on a 129 run partnership with Brad scoring 81. Ali and Philip Ellwood then put on 100 for the forth wicket with Philip scoring an excellent 40. Ali continued to bat superbly well and when the manager joined him he continued on to his century in fine style off 104 balls. With a quick 29 off 12 balls to support Ali the score moved briskly on to 310-5 when the Martlets declared with Ali scoring a superb 138* off 119 balls.
A generous half time declaration was rewarded as the Martlets took to the field for the 50 mins before tea to see Nick Kent and Rob Noble bowl superbly. Nick bowled four consecutive maidens whilst Rob took 4-29 at the other end leaving the Yellowhammers 43-4 at tea….perfect cricket so far from the Martlets.
However, the game was turned on its head by Chris Morgan as he dispatched every bowler around the park scoring 134 in just 99 balls. He was ably supported by some young Yellowhammers scoring some brisk runs too including one 15 year old Tonbridge boy scoring a 50 off just 20 balls. In just 20 overs after tea the Yellowhammers smashed 200-1 and the game looked like it would be over before the last 20 could begin.
Fortunately a wicket from Ben Twine, some excellent spin bowling from Eddie Blake and Omkar Khot and then a superb second spell from Nick Kent, in which he took three wickets in three overs, took the score to 295-9 with 11 overs still left in the match. Runs still came freely as the 10th wicket partnership reached 309-9.
David Twine then bowled a superb over to concede just one run to tie the scores. Rob Noble bowled the first ball of his next over, induced a leading edge from the no8 (who was set on 37) and had him caught at extra cover to scenes of relief, jubilation and emotions of the most amazing fixture and tied result of the season. Rob quite deservedly recorded a rare five-wicket haul on the Head with 5-40 with Nick taking 4-52.
620 runs and 15 wickets for a tie….
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