With such a miserable summer now past us, attention is turned to the hibernation period, the time when cricketers hang up their boots and oil their bats in preparation for the winter.
This is generally a time for reflection on a great season of ups and downs, wickets, sixes and fours and anticipation of when they can pull down those boots and put that oiled bat to use. Sadly with the summer just past, any happy reflection is likely to be brief. Even in the professional game it took until September before anything memorable happened thanks to the final ball thriller at Lords in the CB40 competition.
Alas, Manderston’s season will be remembered for just one thing, Hayden Martin’s brutal 163 against Eglingham.
Coming in the fourth over Martin signalled his intent early on by getting his first runs with a boundary. Twenty fours and four sixes later and he was finished, not through a mistimed shot or lapse of concentration but because he ran out of time.
In a grand total of 239 Martin accounted for 68% of the runs. With precise timing, brute strength and an iron will, he sent the ball flying to all parts. It was a feat that will stand out as the top performance of 2012 and would certainly occupy a high place in the Manderston all time top performances.
With a required total of 240 at six runs an over the equation looked difficult for Eglingham. They got off to a good start with a strong opening partnership. In what could hardly have been scripted, it fell to Martin to take the decisive first wicket. This sparked a run of batsmen getting in but losing their wicket after making a start and not going on to score big runs.
In the end the Manderston bowlers held their nerve and were able to strangle Eglingham as they fell 36 runs short.
The last game of the season could hardly have gone better. The memory of the Martin innings will linger in the minds of those who saw it. Even though we suffered through a poor summer, there was still a performance to think about and remind us just why it is we play this incredible game.
Winter nets will be starting from January with times and days to be confirmed.