Martyn & Hodge Run Riot in Semi
East Sandringham fought back from a calamitous beginning against Chelsea Heights Aspendale Gardens in Saturday’s Longmuir Shield 1st semi-final. After being offered first turn at the crease East could not have had a worse start as their top four batsmen were all sent packing with only six runs on the board as CHAG pacemen Cal Dodson and Shane Smith created havoc.
However, with Guy Martyn and Brad Hodge paired together there was still hope and it turned into so much more. After initially fighting hard to stem the flow of wickets the pair scratched and scraped the score up to 4/27 when the respite of the first drinks break arrived. From that point it was a totally different story as initially Martyn turned the game completely on its head with the former skipper counter punching with a dazzling array of strokes which belied his recent form. He raced to 54 by the tea internal and with Hodge a much more circumspect 20 they took the score to a far more palatable 5/84 at the interval. Upon the resumption Martyn continued on his merry way and Hodge upped the ante as well and they dominated the CHAG bowlers other than Dodson and Smith scoring quickly and easily. Hodge was fast closing in on Martyn’s score but Martyn bought up his century first and even though Dodson returned to the attack to remove him, Martyn had more than done his job with a brilliant 103 and the duo’s partnership had enhanced the score by 203 runs. Hodge bought up three figures shortly after and then added a couple of party tricks before being caught in the deep for 127. Luke Dallas (18*) and Mark Jenkin (20*) then topped up the total in the closing overs to leave CHAG with an imposing 6/284 to chase on Sunday. Dodson (4/51) was terrific for CHAG and Smith (2/53) solid in support but the second tier bowlers were at the mercy of one of the finest partnerships in Easts rich history.
CHAG began poorly on day two falling to 2/6 with Mark Jenkin (2/15) grabbing early wickets but Shaan Khan Ahmed was in great touch and CHAG clawed their way back into the game. Ahmed was eventually dismissed for a fine 80 but Brad Lockhart (50) kept the game alive with Steve Kat chipping in with 26 until Hodge sealed the fate of CHAG taking 5/46 running through the bottom half of the order leaving CHAG well short and all out for 222.