A good win for Kemsing on Saturday, with a much changed team, at a very moist and windy Groombridge. Skipper for the day, James Walkling, won the toss and had no hesitation in inviting the home team to bat on a wet wicket.
Those Kemsing members who have known Sammy Marshall for a few years agreed that his nine overs were the best they have ever seen him bowl. His first four overs were maidens and he could have had a wicket first ball of the game, as the ball lobbed off the shoulder of the bat to first slip, returnee Russell Shipton, who was so stunned by the dolly that he dropped it.
Shipton made up for it in Marshall’s 2nd spell, as he caught a full length one-handed catch, inches off the ground, in the same position. Someone suggested that he dropped the catch that everyone else would have caught and took the catch that nobody else would have got near!! 9-6-7-1. Stunning figures for Marshall and it could have been so much better with the ball beating the bat regularly!
With the wind gusting strongly, the other bowlers, with less pace, struggled. But with veteran Roger Shaddock and Walkling taking a brace each and young Nizam taking a wicket and bowling superbly up front, things were going well.
However, Groombridge’s skipper for the day, Nik Patel, biffed a superb 64 not out, to give them hope, as the tail succumbed, including a brilliant run out combo by Marshall and keeper Paul Bean.
After tea, the new opening partnership of Shipton, playing his first Kemsing game for many years, and Mark Cooper got the away side off to a respectable start, before Shipton miscued to point. Cooper carried on, with Walkling, as they put on 63, before the skipper chipped to cover, after smiting three fours and three enormous sixes.
Will Moulton was next in and he carried on the good batting, with some glorious, wristy shots, as he lost Cooper and Nat Marshall. Nat was bowled the ball after he appeared to deliberately head a high bouncing (slow) ball, which lifted off a length, as the wicket dried out. A good firm header that Harry Kane would have be proud of!
Moulton was superb, finishing the game with a massive straight six in the 37th over and a wristy off-driven four to win in the 38th over.
It was fairly comfortable in the end, thanks to Cooper, Walkling and Moulton’s great application and skill on a drying, very tricky wicket.