GREAT MELTON A (22 points) beat SHERINGHAM (5 points) by 4 wickets at Sheringham in the Norfolk Alliance Division 4
Rarely can a Melton debut be as full and entertaining as this as former Bunwell and Swardeston player Nick Aston made the transition with a mixture of verve and panache, ending the afternoon in a Romanesque style Hawaiian bin liner. Captain Woods called right at the toss and inserted the hosts on a wicket variously described as hard and fluffy or tattered and torn but was distinctly windswept and rough. Neither opener made headway as the tourist train puffed by happily in the shadow of the mountainous golf course, and it was left to Melton’s own ‘bank-clerk’ to make the breakthrough. Back to his teasing and tantalising best, Rob Sims bamboozled the Sheringham batsmen. He cleaned up D Smith (31) for the first of his three victims. The home side were progressing very nicely at 60 for 1 in the 15th over.
The ever improving Matt Henderson was tightness personified with the stiff breeze at his back, with two wicket-maidens and two maidens in his first five overs. D King (36) and I Enslin (0) were both back on the sidelines huddled beneath thick winter coats. The second provided a simple mid-wicket catch to Aston, his first contribution to the proceedings. A stocky Stuart Taylor (6) could not emulate his cousin Callum’s recent performances for England u19’s snicking behind. He was soon followed by W Neave (0) holing out to Sims aided by a sensational catch from Aston, sprinting from mid-on to mid-off to hold onto the ball with a tumbling dive. Sheringham were now 76 for 5 off 24, and their innings was beginning to resemble the Sri Lankan’s, with 3 wickets falling in consecutive overs. Chris Moy (18), very bottomed handed, looked to be aggressive in the middle order, but only managed to spoon a straightforward catch to Aston 2 balls after a similar shot into space, to give Clarke a scalp. No other batsman contributed as Ryan Hayward completed the carnage with a run out after Woods missed a stumping, and bowling 9 and 11 to leave himself on a hat-trick for the next game. The hosts had collapsed to 136 off 39.3 overs.
Tim Hales (11) and Damien Loines (16) both looked to be positive in the face of a hostile onslaught from Chris Moy, and the nagging accuracy of Gerry Enslin, but at 24-2 off 10, the game seemed to be in the balance.
Martin Bunn (27) found the boundary a few times as the hosts rotated the bowlers, trying to save Moy. Sam Mann (11), looking forward to his up and coming trip to Bangkok, flattered to deceive and was undone by a slower delivery from S Cox. Nick Aston (31*) strode purposefully to the crease with 45 more needed. He cross batted former team mate King over the mid wicket boundary twice to start his Melton league career with a double Gower. Simon Woods (8*) joined him as the run chase ticked down. Two expensive overs changed the course of the match as Platt went for 17 in his 6th, and the experiment with Lomax back fired disastrously as 19 were plundered, including 5 wides. It began with the ball disappearing into the builders fenced off area behind the digger, never to be retrieved.
Simon Woods brought the game to a premature end, stylishly clipping the ball for four, and a thoroughly deserved win. Matt Henderson’s excellent bowling figures brought just plaudits, but it was Nick Aston’s contribution in the field and with the bat that won the Man of the Match accolade (leave it in lad) combined with his dumbfounded enthusiasm for the post match banter.
One question remains un-answered: did Sam enjoy a Minty Shower gel extravaganza after declining the cold showers?
Dexter Smith b Robert Sims 31; David King b Matthew Henderson 36; Simon Taylor ct Simon Woods b Robert Sims 6; Innes Enslin ct Nick Aston b Matthew Henderson 0; Wesley Neave† ct Nick Aston b Robert Sims 0; Chris Moy ct Nick Aston b Neal Clarke 18; James Platt st Simon Woods b Matthew Henderson 6; Shane Cox not out 18; Gerry Enslin run out (Ryan Hayward) 6; William Moy b Ryan Hayward 5; Nathan Lomax* b Ryan Hayward 0; Extras lb (4), w (5) 9. Total 135 (Richard DeSalis 9-0-23-0; Ryan Hayward 6.3-1-24-2; Robert Sims 9-0-32-3; Matthew Henderson 9-6-14-3; Nick Aston 4 0 26 0; Neal Clarke 2-0-8-1)
Great Melton A
Tim Hales b Chris Moy 11; Damien Loines ct Chris Moy b James Platt 16; Neal Clarke b Chris Moy 2; Martin Bunn b Chris Moy 27; Sam Mann b Shane Cox 11; Matthew Henderson b Chris Moy 6; Nick Aston not out 31; Simon Woods*† not out 8; Extras b (7), lb (6), w (8), nb (3) 24. Total (6 wickets) 139 (Chris Moy 9-0-28-4; Gerry Enslin 9-4-20-0; James Platt 7-1-30-1; Shane Cox 4-1-10-1; Nathan Lomax 1-0-19-0; David King 3-0-12-0; William Moy 0.4-0-4-0)