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Gillingham keep up promotion push

PUBLISHED: 09:51 20 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:17 16 September 2010

GILLINGHAM travelled to Martham A aware that any slip-up could cost a promotion place from League Division Eight. They won by seven wickets.

Skipper Hoare elected to field first and new-ball bowlers Smith and Cockings soon found their rhythm, maintaining tight lines and both claiming wickets in their third overs to reduce Martham to 13-2.

GILLINGHAM travelled to Martham A aware that any slip-up could cost a promotion place from League Division Eight. They won by seven wickets.

Skipper Hoare elected to field first and new-ball bowlers Smith and Cockings soon found their rhythm, maintaining tight lines and both claiming wickets in their third overs to reduce Martham to 13-2.

With scoring opportunities limited, Martham slowly built to 41-2 before Liam Smith claimed a wicket in his first over to bring the imposing Spencer to the crease. He looked assured and built a strong partnership with opener Blundell to push Martham towards 150 before some sharp work from Hoare ran out Blundell for an obdurate 48.

Aldridge claimed the next wicket, baffling the batsmen, and at times fielders behind the wicket, with a series of cutters before Cockings returned to claim the decisive wicket of Spencer, caught behind for an excellent 70 and helping Martham reach a competitive 173-7.

After an injury sustained in the field left Stevens unable to open the batting, Liam Smith again stepped up to face the new ball with the in-form Patrick. After a patient start both batsmen began to punish any wayward deliveries, bringing up the 50 partnership in the 12th over.

Patrick continued to rotate the strike well, allowing Smith to accelerate the scoring rate with a series of boundaries, bringing up an excellent half-century before being dismissed for 61, ending a superb partnership of 103.

Aldridge (12) and Hoare (2) took the score to 132-3 before Stevens (16) helped complete the chase in the 38th over, but not before Patrick (55) brought up another excellent half-century.

Gillingham entertain Great Witchingham B at Maltings Meadow tomorrow.

Martham A: T Blundell run out 48, H Ferguson c Stevens b M Smith 2, A Kemp b J Cockings 0, L Dunn lbw L Smith 10, D Spencer c Hoare b J Cockings 70, E Dee b J Aldridge 0, R Akers b A Stevens 0, J Tyrell not out 4, E Scally not out 1; extras 38. Total 173-7. Bowling: M Smith 9-3-11-1, J Cockings 12-1-35-2, L Smith 7-1-41-1, J Aldridge 8-1-32-1, B Vickers 5-1-23-0, B Patrick 4-0-19-0, A Stevens 1-0-1-1.

Gillingham: B Patrick not out 55, L Smith c E Dee b D Spencer 61, J Aldridge c Ferguson b D Spencer 12, T Hoare b E Dee 2, A Stevens not out 16; extras 28. Total 174-3. Bowling: R Silverwood 6-1-25-0, A Kemp 5-0-16-0, J Tyrell 3-0-28-0, E Dee 11-1-28-1, D Spencer 8-1-37-2, L Dunn 1-0-3-0, E Scally 2-0-12-0, H Ferguson 1.4-0-8-0.

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