GREAT MELTON B (6 points) lost to CAISTER (23 points) by 2 wickets at Caister in the Norfolk League Division 2
A trip to the seaside brought no delights for Melton’s B team, as inconsistencies in individual performances, especially with the bat, and a paucity of strike bowlers, allowed the hosts to scramble to a two wicket win.
Caister’s Richard Stokes, a player of limited stroke play, but vast amounts of self control, determination and application, demonstrated how to play the game, as he accumulated his runs steadily behind a stoic defence, described as representing a version of ‘French Cricket’ in style.
His 49 not out across the whole Caister innings was the batting difference between the sides. The 28 extras conceded by the visitors, including a bizarre No-Ball call as the peak of Steve Clarke’s cap broke the line of the stumps, did not help their cause, and is an area which has to be improved if tight games are to be turned in their favour.
Simon Brett, the great pretender, began his innings with a watchful 16 dot balls, before crashing a pull past square leg, tried manfully to provide some ballast to Melton’s crumbling batting as wickets fell at regular intervals. His well crafted 36, a third of the total, was essential in posting a vaguely competitive score. Steve Clarke hung around for 17 overs for his 16, Damien Loines struck a quick first 13, and Liam Hughes posted 10, but with only extras (16) getting into double figures, Melton were unable to reach the third batting point, and were always under pressure.
Andy Myhill’s left arm off-spin option accounting for 3 wickets for 11 runs off his 6 overs, provided evidence that this was a turning wicket.
Leo dragged his ailing limbs through 8 tight overs, bagging 2 wickets as he made an early breakthrough, though without magic, but with Freddie Burgess struggling to maintain his line and length, Caister were able to tear it up to get the score board ticking early. Liam Hughes extracted turn and bounce to snaffle 2, yet it was the introduction of Eusha Fawad, with his variations, which almost brought a miracle. Between them they made the hosts jittery as 90-3 became 104-8 in a flash, which included Duncan Greenslade’s impromptu impression of Derek Randall, with an outstanding catch at short cover: the Champagne Moment.
Jack Clarke came up with the answer all had been searching for to batting on this wicket, clubbing his first ball to the long on boundary, and smiting his fifth headlong past mid wicket to allow the hammer to fall.
Great Melton B
S Clarke c Church b Oxborough 16; D Loines c&b Oxborough 13; F Kaiser c Hewitt b Oxborough 0; L Hughes c Stokes b Hewitt 10; S Brett c Church b Myhill 36; T Wyatt c Campbell b Myhill 7; F Burgess run out 0; J Greenslade lbw Myhill 5; E Fawad c Oxborough b Campbell 4; L de Salis b Hewitt 8; D Greenslade not out 0; extras 16. TOTAL 115 (M Hewitt 8.2 -2-28-2; T Oxborough 12-2-32-3; T Campbell 10-0-44-1; A Myhill 6-2-11-3).
R Stokes not out 49; P Brown lbw de Salis 5; M Hewitt c E Fawad b Burgess 0; M Church b de Salis 6; T Oxborough lbw Hughes 14; T Campbell lbw Hughes 0; C Tennant b E Fawad 0; A Myhill b E Fawad 4; D Wedon c D Greenslade b E Fawad 4; J Clake not out 9; extras 28. TOTAL (8 wickets) 119 (L de Salis 8 – 3 – 12 – 2; F Burgess 4 – 0 – 25 – 1; S Brett 6 – 2 – 15 – 0; L Hughes 8.2 – 4 – 15 – 2; F Kaiser 2 – 0 – 12 – 0; E Fawad 4 – 0 – 21 – 3).