Great Melton A (18 Points) achieved a winning draw with Rocklands (8) in Frankly Digital Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Five
Great Melton A:
L Whiddett c Noonan b Pearce 29
M Bunn c Walker b Halls 51
M Clarke b Pearce 14
C Greenslade b Etheridge 91
P Stearman b Halls 28
N Gristwood c Walker b Halls 29
C Elliott Not Out 4
Total (6 Wickets, 46 Overs) 268
L Dodson 9-1-49-0, M Etheridge 8-2-49-1, G Wain 5-0-25-0, S Pearce 12-0-78-2, S Halls 12-2-62-3
S Mann c & b Hubbard 8
J Noonan c Stearman b Bettridge 11
W Defoe c Stearman b Bettridge 0
A Evans c Gristwood b G Bunn 32
G Mann lbw b Hubbard 0
M Walker Not Out 40
S Halls b Hayward 6
S Pearce c M Bunn b Gristwood 16
G Wain st Clarke b Hubbard 52
L Dodson Not Out 0
Total (8 Wickets, 46 Overs) 185
I Bettridge 8-3-9-2, N Hubbard 12-4-24-3, R Hayward 8-0-41-1, G Bunn 11-1-59-1, N Gristwood 4-0-34-1, P Stearman 3-0-9-0
Great Melton A got back on track after last weeks defeat to Aldborough with a dominant winning draw against promotion rivals Rocklands.
Rocklands skipper Will Defoe won the toss and, with a side weakened by the loss of several key players, inserted Melton into bat. In the absence of Jason Whiddett, skipper Lee Whiddett opened the batting with Martin Bunn and signalled his intent by hitting the first ball of the innings for four. It was a positive start from both batsmen against a youthful Rocklands attack. They took the score to 66 from 16 overs before Whiddett (29) was caught at point from a turning delivery from S Pearce.
Matt Clarke (14) produced a flurry of boundaries but then inexplicably left a straight ball that took out his middle stump. This brought 14 year old Chris Greenslade to the crease but shortly after Martin Bunn was out for a patient 51 and the score was 118-3 after 30 overs.
It was when Paul Stearman joined Greenslade that Melton really seized control of the game. Running well between the wickets, combined with Stearman’s ball striking and Greenslade’s marvellous strokeplay, the pair added 68 in 8 overs before Stearman’s luck ran out and he was bowled for 28.
Nick Gristwood came in at 6 and maintained the momentum. Greenslade was now striking the ball imperiously and after passing 50 he kicked on, hitting a couple of glorious extra cover drives as well as going over the top, hitting 2 sixes and 11 fours in a superb 91. Gristwood (29) and Greenslade added 70 in 6 overs and Chris Elliott (4no) took the score to an imposing 268-6.
Veteran bowlers Ian Bettridge and Neil Hubbard then shared the new ball and they produced an excellent opening spell to strangle the Rocklands openers. In the 8th over Hubbard got one to jump off a length on the dry Rocklands surface and S Mann could only chip the ball back to the bowler to leave Rocklands 13-1.
Key batsman Will Defoe was then dismissed by Bettridge for a duck as he chipped a catch to Paul Stearman at cover. Noonan went in the same manner soon after to give Bettridge excellent figures of 8-3-9-2. When Hubbard removed Greg Mann lbw for another duck, Rocklands were 26-4 in 15 overs.
Martin Walker then came to the crease for Rocklands and showed the necessary application to get his side back into the game. He put together a decent stand with A Evans (32) before George Bunn, obtaining appreciable turn, had Evans caught at mid-off by Nick Gristwood with the score 73-5 from 25 overs. Ryan Hayward then bowled S Halls for 6 giving Melton 19 overs to take the 4 remaining wickets.
By now Martin Walker was in full defensive mode and proving difficult to dislodge. Nick Gristwood came on and removed S Pearce with a beautiful rising delivery that was snaffled by Martin Bunn in the gully. No. 9 batsman G Wain then counter-attacked, Bunn and Gristwood both getting some tap. Two catch opportunities were put down as Wain (52) continued to play his shots. By the time Matt Clarke stumped him off Hubbard, Rocklands were 180-8 with just 2 overs left, which Walker (40no) saw out to secure his side a single point for the losing draw.
Melton take a decent haul of 18 points from the game and with Swardeston losing to Halvergate the table is now extremely tight with just 3 points between second and fifth-placed Melton.