GREAT MELTON B (25pts) beat HARDINGHAM A (3pts) by 7 wickets at Town Close in the Norfolk League Division 2
Great Melton played host to local rivals, and Division 2 basement side, Hardingham A on Saturday 26th. As the sun beat down, and the temperature rose, Melton skipper sought advice from his senior players before the toss, and decided to insert the visitors.
A police car with screaming siren rushed past the resplendent Town Close setting, as ex Melton player George King settled in to his stance. 10 torrid overs later, after being given a going over by the experienced de Salis in particular, he made his slow, wearisome way back to the thatched pavilion for 3, a path already trod by fellow opener Neil Harris (15), and captain Sparkes (1), as Hardingham collapsed to 23 for 3.
Leo was proving unplayable, as late swing combined with accurate line and length, beat the bat on regular occasions, or induced injudicious swipes. Gary Coulson, the master of tight bowling, was claiming the wickets, 3 more to move him to 18 in the league for the season; Jon Moxon pouching the first of 3 slip catches, one handed above his head, Eusha proving he has safe hands at point, and Joey Greenslade also snaffling.
Colin Watts tried to steady the ship, with 24 runs in partnerships with M Eastman (6) and C Hearn (6), but at 54 for 4 at drinks, the innings resembled a freezing cold flat with damp on the walls.
Rich Groves, returning to action after a 7 year break, continued the tight theme, grabbing the scalp of top scorer Watts in his 8 over spell. Nick MacKenzie enhanced his reputation with some lively and penetrative bowling from the Pavilion End, claiming 4 wickets – which included a sensational diving one handed effort from Moxon – with 5 maidens in his excellent 9.4 overs as the late order batsmen seemed unable to wake up from a bad dream. James ‘Buddha’ Robb took one wicket in his 2 overs, to leave the hosts a very below par total of 105 to chase.
It was still a hot summer’s day, and feeding ducks in the park and wishing they were far away, was probably more on the visitors’ minds as play resumed after a light tea. Neal Clarke (29), fresh from a good knock with the A team, opened with captain Hales (17), and together provided the stable base any chase needs. Initially circumspect, before punishing anything over-full or lose, the score moved serenely to 29 without loss after 10. Dan Kelly, so often Melton’s tormentor in chief, spun his web, and bowled them both in his 12 over spell leaving the hosts 60 for 2 after 20. Joey Greenslade(38), riding his luck with a thick inside edge, and a pull though mid wicket off Meikle, soon took to the bowling, and adding to recent good scores, provided the main bulk of the runs, before walking over a loopy gentle off spinner from Jamie Fowle, and despite his best efforts, left himself stranded.
Jon Moxon was joined by Nav Sharma to drive the nail in, the left hander lofting Watts straight over his head, and the ropes, towards the garden centre to finish the match in perfect style.
This win lifts Melton 10 points above Aylsham into 8th, with the 2nd meeting in 3 weeks time, before Aylsham visit Hardingham a week later.
G King ct Moxon b de Salis 3
N Haris ct Moxon b Coulson 15
C Sparkes ct Eusha b Coulson 1
C Watts ct Hales b Groves 24
N Eastman ct Greenslade b Coulson 6
C Hearn b MacKenzie 6
J Fowle ct Greenslade b MacKenzie 8
G Sheeron ct Moxon b MacKenzie 9
J West Lindel ct Eusha b Robb 3
S Meikle not out 8
D Kelly c & b MacKenzie 7
Extras 15 total 105
G Coulson 12 – 4 – 26 – 3
L de Salis 12 – 6 – 24 – 1
R Groves 8 – 1 – 21 – 1
N MacKenzie 9.4 – 5 – 19 – 4
J Robb 2 – 0 – 8 – 1
Great Melton B
T Hales b Kelly 17
N Clarke b Kelly 29
J Greenslade b Fowle 40
J Moxon not out 18
N Sharma not out 1
Extras 4 total 109 – 3
S Meikle 10 – 3 – 38 – 0
D Kelly 12 – 2 – 25 – 2
N Harris 4 – 0 – 18 – 0
C Watts 3.2 – 0 – 19 – 0
J Fowle 2 – 0 – 8 – 1