Great Melton (23 Points) beat Bungay (7) by five wickets at Maltings Meadow in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Three
“One of the best wins I’ve ever been involved in”. Those were the words of Melton skipper Olly Harris after his side produced a remarkable batting display, spearheaded by Jason Whiddett’s classy 71, to make it 3 wins out of 3 and move to the top of the embryonic Division Three table.
It had all looked somewhat bleak for Melton at tea time, as they found themselves on the receiving end of some fine batting from the home side’s powerful batting line up. Tom Grant and Ryan Hayward kept things tight early as Bungay could only muster 20-0 from 9 overs. But from there, too many four-balls were bowled and Will Lewis took advantage before falling to a peach of a diving catch from Paul Stearman. But that only brought Tom York to the crease and Bungay punished some loose bowling from Melton’s change bowlers as the score quickly moved on to 88-1 at drinks.
From there, the home side opened up as Tom Moye and Alex Rennie in particular took some heavy punishment. York was joined at the crease by skipper Chris Fuller and they progressed quickly toward the 200 mark. The returning Tom Grant could not stem the tide and, although Ryan Hayward did finally dismiss Fuller, that only brought professional footballer Joe Lewis to the crease, who had a license to throw the bat and quick runs from him, allied to Tom York’s 87 not out, meant that Bungay passed 200 with overs still to spare and finished on 239-7, which looked an imposing target.
The wicket had, however, for the most part played well and Melton knew that Bungay’s strength looked to be in their batting rather than in the bowling department. Jason Whiddett and Joey Greenslade used contrasting styles but both played nicely as the score moved along to 42-0 from 10 overs. They continued to build the essential platform as Whiddett cut sweetly and Greenslade guided the ball into unusual areas, the latter making a fine 43 before finally the partnership was broken. Dave Adams joined Whiddett and made a swift 19, but was unsettled after being struck on the head by a short ball and run out shortly after. Paul Stearman was promoted to continue the momentum after Melton had reached 100 soon after the drinks break, with the rate required hovering around the 6.5 to 7 runs per over mark. Stearman immediately produced a ‘Filntoff’ by getting off the mark with a 6, and whilst he played and missed several times made a valuable and swift 20 runs before holing out to long on. Shortly before that, Jason Whiddett had departed for a composed 71, with perhaps tiredness beginning to take its toll. He had been replaced by brother Lee Whiddett and Stearman’s dismissal united him with Tim Hales with around 80 runs needed from 12 overs.
What followed was a fine partnership as Whiddett and Hales made the most of their first team opportunity to add 60 runs in 9 overs. During their stand, a boundary came from almost every over as Hales punished anything loose including a six over mid-wicket, whilst Whiddett brought out a remarkable ‘Dil-scoop’ to make the most of a gap at fine leg. Their vital partnership brought the equation to 21 needed from the last 3 overs when Hales went for 26 picking out extra cover with a powerful drive.
That only brought Tom Grant out to join Whiddett. A few dots meant that 19 were needed from 14 balls, but Grant settled the nerves with consecutive powerfully struck fours through long-on to leave 11 to win from 2 overs. Another boundary and good running meant that only 1 run was needed from the final over, and Grant duly obliged with 3 balls remaining to hand Melton a 5 wicket win. Grant’s 20 not out was a crucial contribution, whilst Whiddett remained unbowed on 30.
It was a truly superb run chase. One that suggests Melton are real contenders to fight for promotion back to Division Two, though there is much work still to do.
|1||Martyn Ramm||run out (Tom Grant)||31||0||0||0|
|2||William Lewis||ct Paul Stearman||b Oliver Harris||17||0||0||0|
|3||Thomas York||not out||87||0||0||0|
|4||Chris Fuller*||b Ryan Hayward||44||0||0||0|
|5||Joe Lewis||ct Joe Greenslade||b Tom Grant||22||0||0||0|
|6||Matthew Williams†||run out (Ryan Hayward)||13||0||0||0|
|7||Brandon Ling||ct Unsure||b Tom Moye||0||0||0||0|
|8||Steve Thompson-Friend||run out (Unsure)||0||0||0||0|
|9||Aiden Lowe||not out||1||0||0||0|
|10||Ronan Brown||did not bat|
|11||Charlie Mattocks||did not bat|
|Extras b (1), lb (5), w (12), nb (6)||24|
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||6||3|
|1||Jason Whiddett||ct Charlie Mattocks||b Thomas York||71||0||0||0|
|2||Joe Greenslade||ct Steve Thompson-Friend||b Aiden Lowe||43||0||0||0|
|3||David Adams||run out (Matthew Williams)||19||0||0||0|
|4||Paul Stearman||ct Joe Lewis||b Charlie Mattocks||20||0||0||0|
|5||Lee Whiddett||not out||30||0||0||0|
|6||Timothy Hales†||ct Ronan Brown||b Charlie Mattocks||26||0||0||0|
|7||Tom Grant||not out||20||0||0||0|
|8||Ryan Hayward||did not bat|
|9||Oliver Harris*||did not bat|
|10||Alex Rennie||did not bat|
|11||Tom Moye||did not bat|
|Extras lb (4), w (8), nb (2)||14|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper