Great Melton A (22 Points) beat Halvergate (8) by 4 Wickets at Melton Park in Frankly Digtal Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Five.
S Clarke lbw b Godbold 20
S Cooke Retired Hurt 20
L Hannant Not Out 107
P Hill lbw b L Whiddett 14
C Key lbw b L Whiddett 10
M Shepstone c & b Sims 9
S Howley c Clarke b L Whiddett 2
P Southam Not Out 18
Extras 8 (3w, 2nb, 3lb)
Total (5 Wickets, 46 Overs) 208
I Bettridge 10-1-21-0, D Godbold 10-1-51-1, G Bunn 6-0-48-0, R Sims 11-1-37-1, L Whiddett 7-0-29-3, C Greenslade 2-0-15-0
Great Melton A:
J Whiddett c Key b Fox 3
C Greenslade b Howley 0
M Clarke c Howley b Hannant 106
M Bunn c Shepstone b Hill 25
J Howard lbw b Hill 28
P Stearman c Southam b Howley 13
L Whiddett Not Out 16
G Bunn Not Out 6
Extras 13 (4w, 4b, 5lb)
Total (6 Wickets, 36.3 Overs) 210
S Fox 10.3-1-51-1, S Howley 9-1-46-2, P Hill 9-0-43-2, M Shepstone 4-0-23-0, T Crane 2-0-17-0, L Hannant 2-0-21-1
Great Melton A continued their promising start to the season with a comfortable victory over Halvergate at Melton Park. Although the margin of victory was just 4 wickets, the home side reached their target with some 9 overs to spare, which more properly demonstrates their dominance of the game.
Lee Whiddett won the toss and asked Halvergate to bat first. Openers Clarke and Cooke started watchfully against the probing bowling of Ian Bettridge and Daryl Godbold, before Clarke began to open up with a couple of sweet cover drives for four. With the score on 33 in the 12th over Godbold grabbed the key wicket of Clarke, trapped in front lbw.
Cooke was then forced to retire hurt in unfortunate circumstances taking a swift run as he slipped over and suffered a broken wrist which necessitated a long delay. Luke Hannant put a shaky start behind him with some fine shots and was particularly severe on the bowling of George Bunn. With the score on 127-2 on 30 overs the visitors looked in good shape for a score of around 240. But with Rob Sims (11-1-37-1) bowling tightly at one end, Whiddett brought himself on at the other and picked up the wickets of Hill (14) and Key (10) lbw.
The field was also cleverly set by the home side as Hannant, going well, was starved of the strike and dot balls bowled against the new batsmen. Hannant, closing in on a century, went on a run of 16 consecutive singles demonstrating the control that Melton retained in the field and, although Hannant (107no) played very well, he was never able to take the game away from Melton. Whiddett went on to record figures of 7-0-29-3 and with Godbold and Chris Greenslade bowling well in the last few overs, Halvergate could only muster 208-5 from their 46 overs.
The target looked an eminently chaseable one but the Melton reply got off to a disastrous start as Greenslade (0) was bowled by an inswinging yorker from Howley and Jason Whiddett (3) suffered a rare failure as he nicked off to Halvergate’s most dangerous bowler S Fox to leave the home side 11-2 in the 5th over.
Matt Clarke and Martin Bunn then set about rebuilding the innings and their stand of 54 in 10 overs gave the innings the early momentum needed. Both looked comfortable and Bunn looked to be gaining some much needed confidence before holing out to deep square just after the drinks break for 25.
Jonathan Howard joined Clarke and was at his beligerant best, his six over extra cover the shot of the day on his way to 28 in a stand of 42 before missing a straight one and being trapped in front.
The Melton stroke makers continued to arrive as Paul Stearman (13) added quick runs. By now Clarke had passed 50 and was looking in imperious form against the change bowlers. When Stearman was out caught the score was 166-5 and just 43 runs needed with still 14 overs left.
Skipper Lee Whiddett joined Clarke and the latter brought up his first century in two years with a boundary through mid-wicket, before departig soon after for a superb 106 including 21 fours. George Bunn joined Whiddett with 17 runs still needed but had little chance to contribute as Whiddett (16no) hit 3 fours in an over to take his side to the brink of victory. Bunn hit the winning runs through mid-wicket to seal a comprehensive win that keeps Melton in touch with the leaders at the top of Division Five. Big games to come against Aldborough and Rocklands will no doubt provide an indication as to whether this side is capable of promotion. Their team spirit and performances so far suggest that they are.