Great Melton A (23 points) beat Mundford (9) by 1 wicket at Mundford in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
C McIsaac lbw b Cooper 70
R Woods b Rai 15
R Yates c Woods b Farmer 11
K Long c Rai b Farmer 4
D White Not Out 33
J Norman lbw b Cooper 3
S Palmer lbw b Mann 1
M Leeder Not Out 42
Total (6 Wickets, 46 Overs) 227
B Mann 12-0-36-1, D Rai 5-0-32-1, M Farmer 7-3-19-2, D Godbold 5-0-29-0, A Cooper 8-0-34-2, P Stearman 3-0-23-0
Great Melton A:
M Clarke c Woods b Leeder 58
P Stearman c Smith b Palmer 0
M Godbold b Smith 50
A Cooper b Yates 36
B Mann lbw b Leeder 0
L Whiddett b Yates 14
N Gristwood c Yates b Palmer 10
D Godbold c Norman b Yates 3
M Farmer b Woods 17
S Woods Not Out 12
D Rai Not Out 7
Total (9 Wickets, 45.3 Overs) 229
J Yates 12-2-52-3, S Palmer 9-1-55-2, M Smith 5-0-36-0, M Leeder 12-1-44-2, R Woods 8.3-1-31-1
Great Melton A took a huge step toward confirming their promotion credentials as they scrambled over the line to secure a one wicket victory in the last over of the match at Mundford. The 23 points gained, coupled with Stow A’s surprise defeat at Sheringham giving the Melton Park outfit a 20 point cushion in second place in Division Four.
With heavy rain around en route to Mundford, the visitors were pleasantly surprised to see a relatively dry ground and play was able to commence at 1.30pm. Lee Whiddett has won several important tosses this season and once again he correctly called, giving his side the chance to bowl first in friendly conditions.
Ben Mann and Darshan Rai took the new ball, both making their first A team appearances of the season. Both bowled with impressive pace, Rai in particular bowling rapidly, but the A’s lacked the usual control supplied by Leo De Salis, and with Rai bowling a mixture of unplayable deliveries and leg side wides, Mundford’s batsmen, whilst clearly unsettled by the pace attack, found runs flowing freely. With the score 41-0 in the 8th over, Rai’s radar homed in on the off stump of Woods for 15.
Michael Farmer replaced Rai and provided better control and he also dismissed the important top order Mundford batsmen Robin Yates (11) who nicked behind to Simon Woods and then Kieron Long (4) who was brilliantly caught at mid-off by Rai. But at the other end, Cameron McIsaac survived drops by Matt Clarke, Woods and Mann and scored freely, his contribution helping Mundford to a rapid 115-3 from 20 overs.
The brakes were finally applied by Melton as Daryl Godbold, and in particular, Alex Cooper, began to exert some control, and in the next 10 overs Mundford didn’t lose a wicket but were only able to add 26 runs. Eventually the pressure told as Cooper removed McIsaac for 70 and then removed both Norman and Palmer to leave the home side 160-6 from 35 overs – a remarkable turnaround.
Ben Mann returned to bowl a superb second spell as his 5 overs yielded only 7 runs. D White (33no) was kept particularly quiet as he batted for 28 overs for his runs. But home skipper Mark Leeder did manage to inject some momentum in a quickfire 42, and it was his knock that allowed Mundford to post 227-6, which looked around a par score.
The Melton reply suffered an immediate setback as Paul Stearman, promoted to opening due to needing to leave early to attend a comedy performance at the Theatre Royal, left his skipper distinctly unamused by chipping a simple catch to mid-off for a duck. But Matt Clarke and Marcus Godbold knuckled down admirably to add 94 runs for the second wicket.
Godbold, in particular, looked in fine touch hitting three sixes and four fours in his 50 before being bowled by a ball that kept low. By that stage, Melton were 99-2 from 21 overs.
Alex Cooper joined Clarke, and together they added a further 52 runs. Cooper looked scratchy but did despatch anything too full, grabbing a six and six fours in his 36. Clarke passed his own half-century in an innings containing ten fours before cutting the ball to Woods for 58 to leave Melton 151-3 from 32 overs.
Ben Mann then departed lbw for a duck and then Cooper was bowled to leave Melton looking in difficulty. Lee Whiddett (14) and Nick Gristwood (10) chipped in as Melton looked to take the game as deep as possible, before both departed with the score on 186 and 42 runs needed from 6 overs.
Daryl Godbold was joined by Michael Farmer, and perhaps the crucial over came when, with 34 needed from the last 5 overs, Farmer smashed 11 runs including two imperious fours through mid-wicket to bring the asking rate below a run a ball. Godbold (3) was caught on the long-off boundary but Simon Woods joined Farmer to scamper a few singles to take the equation to 19 needed from 3 overs. Farmer was soon after bowled by R Woods for a quickfire 17 leaving last pair Woods and Darshan Rai still needing 14 runs.
From the penultimate over, four singles and a two were scampered by the pair to leave 8 required. Rai, not renowned for his batting, was on strike but he superbly despatched the first ball of the final over through mid-wicket for four, and a single from the next ball brought Woods on strike with 3 needed from 4 balls. From the next delivery, Woods clipped a full toss through square leg which ran down the hill away for four, giving Melton victory by the narrowest of margins and sparking jubilant pitchside scenes as Whiddett, Godbold, Farmer and Gristwood bundled together in what looked like a badly organised scrum.
A superb win again for the A’s, who are making a welcome habit of getting over the line in tough situations.