Aldridge hits century for Gillingham

Gillingham completed an unbeaten first half of the season with a 181-run win over Martham A on Saturday.

Gillingham’s innings began cautiously, having been asked to bat first on a very wet pitch.

Openers Patrick (25) and Liam Smith (20) put on 44 in 15 overs before both were dismissed in quick succession, bringing Aldridge and Hoare to the crease.

The pair saw off the Martham new-ball attack before punishing some loose bowling from the first-change bowlers with a series of boundaries.

Aldridge brought up a run-a-ball half-century shortly before Hoare’s dismissal, caught in the deep for a brisk 40, having added 100 for the third wicket. Aldridge continued to look in excellent form, forming an effective partnership with Vickers (27) to push the score past 200.

A series of big hits at the end of the innings pushed the total up to an imposing 235-4 with Aldridge completing an excellent century during the last over to close on 103 not out.

In reply, the Martham openers found scoring difficult with Matt Smith and Cockings finding significant movement both through the air and off the pitch. Smith made the breakthrough in the seventh over before a brace for Cockings reduced Martham to 18-3.

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With both bowlers in good rhythm, scoring opportunities remained limited and the mounting pressure, supported by some excellent catching, saw a further four wickets fall before the drinks interval, Smith claiming four wickets and Cockings three.

Vickers and Liam Smith then entered the attack and maintained the pressure, Smith claiming one wicket in his four consecutive maiden overs before Vickers wrapped up the tail to cap a clinical performance in the field, Martham dismissed for 54.

Gillingham host second-placed Hardingham B at Maltings Meadow on Saturday.

ACSYS Laser Systems man of the match: Josh Aldridge.

Gillingham: B Patrick c Abrahams b Sayer 25, L Smith b Shales 20, J Aldridge not out 103, T Hoare c Abrahams b Ewing 40, B Vickers c Sayer b Ewing 27, S Cable not out 2, extras 18. Total (4 wkts) 235. Bowling: C Shales 12-1-39-1, G Abrahams 6-1-19-0, O Sayer 7-0-27-1, J Tyrrell 4-0-43-0, J Ewing 9-0-51-2, R Silverwood 5-0-34-0, E Scally 2-0-18-0.

Martham A: G Abrahams c Wentworth b M Smith 4, J Tyrrell b Cockings 7, R Silverwood c Britton b M Smith 11, J Ewing b Cockings 1, C Shales c Wentworth b M Smith 0, O Sayer c Patrick b Cockings 3, M Randell c Cockings b M Smith 0, E Scally c Cockings b L. Smith 3, P West c Hoare b Vickers 4, D Etheridge not out 0, M Beales c Britton b Vickers 0, extras 21. Total 54. Bowling: M Smith 12-2-17-4, J Cockings 11-2-18-3, B Vickers 4.3-0-7-2, L Smith 4-4-0-1.