Great Melton (22) beat Drayton (6) by 6 Wickets in Norfolk League Division 2.
Great Melton B played host to Drayton on Saturday and with availability problems still playing their part it was some of the club stalwarts who were to play a big part.
Winning the toss skipper Tim Hales opted to field first with Grenville Ireland and Duncan Greenslade combing in a makeshift opening partnership with the ball.
The first ball of the match off Ireland went for four but his experience shone through with his next four overs being maidens. Greenslade meanwhile made the breakthrough at the other end bowling Drayton opener Kapesh for 8.
Ireland then took the second wicket of the match having Hawes (7) well caught at fly slip by Clarke with the score on 25-2 after 11 overs.
After a good opening spell Greenslade picked up an injury and with the bowling options already stretched Hales seemed concerned with his lack of options.
The returning Daryl Godbold replaced Greenslade and made an instant impact bowling Birkhill for 22 in his first over. Ireland continued to bowl with usual guile restricting the visitors to only the odd single here and there to finish with outstanding figures of 12-6-10-1.
Neal Clarke replaced Ireland and initially settled into a good line and length but Hunt (74) and Kay (55*) started to find their feet and use the crease well to keep the scoreboard moving.
Needing to keep Godbold back to the end of the innings Hales brought himself on bowling in tandem with Clarke but neither had an answer for the visitors batsmen’s dominance as they looked to push the score upwards of 200.
Apart from the odd moment of confusion between the wickets the Drayton pair began to control the game as they added 120 for the 5th wicket until Hunt got one that kept low from Clarke.
Godbold came back into the attack in the closing stages and kept things tight restricting any boundaries but unfortunately Clarke struggled from the other end conceding too many boundaries from poor balls with the Drayton innings ending on 197-5.
The hosts reply started steadily with Mally Howard hitting an early boundary but was out 3 balls later as one kept low and snuck through his defences.
Godbold joined debutant Alex Pattison at the crease and the pair instantly hit the ground running, literally!
Pinching singles on the square putting the Drayton infield under pressure and regularly pushing two’s in the outfield keeping the scoreboard ticking at a good rate.
Pattison then got a fine edge off Divikira for 13, Steve Phoenix came and went for 4 with the score on 58-3 from 19 overs.
Needing another 139 to win from off 26 over Tim Hales joined Godbold in the middle and they continued the momentum built during the innings so far.
Godbold was continuing to push the singles with ease and Hales hitting some sumptuous boundaries including a towering six over long on his way to a well-made first half century of the season.
Godbold then passed his own half century showing the value of running well between the wickets, as he passed 50 only hitting 2 fours.
Just two short of a 100 partnership hales ran himself out from a direct hit for an excellent 55 bringing N. Clarke to the crease. With 2 ducks in his previous 2 innings Clarke was determined to support Godbold and see the job through.
Needing 41 from seven overs both batsmen were pinching singles where there shouldn’t be singles giving the Drayton fielders the run around.
Only needing 6 from the last over, Clarke desperately trying to find a boundary, swung and missed the first 2 balls, the third ball guiding one down to the vacant third man for 2, then cutting the next one out to deep cover for one leaving Godbold to get 3 from 2 deliveries.
The relief was there to see from both batsmen as the penultimate ball ran down to third man after Godbold played an excellent late cut to win the game with a ball to spare.
With Melton B having a good start to the season winning two out of the first 3 games it is testament to all that have turned out during the early season struggles with availability.
A. Hawes ct Clarke b. Ireland 8, Kapesh b. Greenslade 8, D. Birkhill b. Godbold 22, K. Hunt b. Clarke 74, Harath b. Godbold 6, J. Kay 58*, C. Neil 5* TOTAL 197-5 (11 Extras). G. Ireland 12-6-10-1, D, Greenslade 7-1-32-1, D. Godbold 11-3-40-2, N. Clarke 10-0-68-1, T. Hales 5-0-35-0
M. Howard b. Divikira 6, A. Pattison ct Neil b. Divikira 13, D. Godbold 79*, S. Phoenix b. Malwari 4, T. Hales run out 55, N. Clarke 15*. TOTAL 199-4 (23 Extras). R. Pointer 12-0-45-0, Divikira 12-1-39-2, K. Malwari 12-0-43-1, M.M. Babu 5-0-34-0, J. Kay 3.5-0-23-0.