Skipper tips magic Marshall to make history

United Services batsman George Marshall
United Services batsman George Marshall
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United Services captain Lee Carroll has backed star batsman George Marshall to make history tomorrow.

A fourth consecutive century would see the opening batsman set a Southern Electric Premier League record against Liphook & Ripsley.

Marshall completed a hat-trick of division three centuries with a fine 150 at Fawley last weekend.

And in doing so, he equalled a record which has stood for 36 years.

Only two other players in the league’s history have managed a hat-trick of tons.

South Wilts opener Russell Rowe managed the feat 10 years ago, as he matched the effort of Bournemouth’s Shanthi Waas way back in 1975.

Services skipper Carroll has watched from close quarters as Marshall etched his name alongside that pair.

And now he has backed his 21-year-old team-mate to go one better, insisting Marshall has the temperament to become a record breaker.

‘George spent the winter playing cricket in New South Wales and it has done him the world of good,’ said Carroll.

‘He didn’t have a bad season last year scoring some 700 runs but he has come back looking twice the player.

‘When you speak to him now you realise how much more determined he is.

‘He scores quickly and has got us off to a flying start in all our games so far this season.

‘We know if he stays in for any length of time we will have a decent run-rate.

‘Last week, the opening bowler tried to bounce him first ball and he just rocked back and pulled it to the boundary. That shows the confidence he has at the moment.’

Marshall has been a key figure in Services’ unbeaten start to the campaign, which has seen them chalk up three comprehensive victories.

He has scored just under 50 per cent of the side’s runs, dominating opposition attacks in the process.

Carroll, however, wants to see other members of his team come to the party. With the exception of Dave Richards and Dominic Carson, no-one else has scored a half century.

And Carroll reckons that has to change as his side cannot rely on Marshall every week.

Visitors Liphook & Ripsley are also unbeaten and will present Services with their toughest test to date.

‘Liphook have a lot of good players in their team and will be dangerous opponents,’ said Carroll.

‘They will present us with our first real test. But if we play well there is no reason why we can’t continue our winning run.’

Marshall will this week be joined by his two brothers, all-rounders Reggie and James.

United Services: George Marshall, Damien Carson, Dominic Carson, Wayne Spencer, John Hadfield, James Marshall, Lewis Russell, Reggie Marshall, Mark Stanley, Jack Cannell