Junior BB v Junior Sussex Martlets at Hurstpierpoint,

July 22nd, 2016

at Hurstpierpoint

Junior BB 175-7 (35 overs)

Junior Sussex Martlets 144 all out (32.3)


no scorecard for this game


After over 100 years of BaBes, the historic first outing for the newly titled 'Junior BB' took place at Hurstpierpoint on a warm and muggy July afternoon against the Junior Sussex Martlets.

This was a group of Juniors with great team spirit that seemed to enjoy playing together, which is exactly the idea of BB Cricket. A mix of mainly 15 and 16 year olds, they were calmly and expertly led by Ed Hyde, vice captain at Tonbridge this season, who lost the toss. Opposing captain Jack Troak asked us to bat.

We opened up with 2 Tonbridgians, Alex Moen and Ollie Balcombe, who set off at a great rate, taking advantage of the short boundaries and fast outfield. Their 50 partnership came up off just 48 balls, and they got us off to the perfect start.

They had seen off the new ball when the first spin was introduced, which promptly removed them both in the same over. Alex was caught off a top edge having scored 33 off 36 balls with some glorious off drives, whilst Ollie was bowled for 26 off 40 balls with 5 boundaries.

At 71-2, Ed Hyde (29) and Ben Erxleben (31) rebuilt with fewer boundary options, as the Martlets had finally realised that they needed a sweeper on both sides of the wicket. They ran very well between the wickets and managed a few 2s, which was a good effort on a pitch that was basically 1 or 4.

The lower order hurried and scurried for final runs to finish on 175-7 off 35 overs. It was a decent total, but perhaps a little 'under par' after being 99-2 at halfway.

After tea, our opening bowling was the promising U16 pair of Will Falcon (Harrow) and Tom Whitmore (Kings C). Both extracted good pace and bounce from the pitch and beat the bat on numerous occasions - they were unlucky to pick up just 1 wicket each from their first spells. Tom struck first with an edge down the leg side, well taken by Ed Hyde. Will got his reward thanks to an excellent catch by Hugo low down to his left at extra cover off a back foot drive.

Tom Nicholls (Tonbridge) bowled his leg spin and was accurate and brave enough to keep giving the ball air, despite being attacked. This courage led to his first wicket, swiftly and efficiently stumped by Ed Hyde. 68-3 off 16.

Luke Berry had replaced fellow Harrovian Will Falcon coming down the slope, and bowled with good control. Alas in taking a ball from Luke down the leg side, Ed dislocated a finger (again) and had to leave the field.

This was immediately after drinks in the 19th over, and Ollie Balcombe manfully offered to keep for the rest of the innings. He did an excellent job and only conceded 1 bye - the Martlets conceded 16, which was crucial when you consider our margin of victory was 31 runs.

Tom Nicholls picked up the Martlets captain, Jack Troak, who played round a full ball and was bowled. Hugo took over from Ed as Captain and soon asked Harry Gripper (Skinners) to bowl his off breaks. It was an inspired decision, as in his second over he collected 2 wickets thanks to catches at extra cover and backward point.

The magic touch stayed with Harry as he got the dangerous Tom Heath (immediately after being smashed onto the road), and it was fitting that Harry finished the game with the last wicket, caught again by Hugo at extra cover for his third catch.

It was pleasing that our bowling and keeping discipline resulted in just 4 extras, whilst the Martlets gave us 31. Well done lads.

Harry finished with 5-24 and was deservedly our Junior BB 'man of the match'. Tom Whitmore had 2-32, Tom Nicholls 2-31 and Will Falcon 1-28.

I also traditionally like to find a 'Champagne Moment' for the day, and there are a number of contenders. Ollie Balcombe hit his first ball past extra cover for 4. Harry Gripper smashed the opening bowler back over his head in the penultimate over.

Tom Nicholls enticed their no 4 down the wicket and Ed Hyde did the rest with the stumping. But perhaps this time it goes to Hugo Pettman for his excellent catch at extra cover. It removed their dangerous opener and was delightfully unexpected.

This was a terrific win for the Junior BB team in their first match of the season against a strong Martlets side, and I am encouraged by the sense of fun but also the skills and calmness they showed today. Well done everyone. Onwards and upwards.

Brother Mark Pettman (Manager, Junior BB)