A century from Tony Alborough, a second successive fifer from Daniel Hayward and a best-ever senior performance from Ben Carding enabled Melton C to record their fourth win in succession on Saturday in mist-shrouded Yarmouth. Having beaten Yarmouth A at Melton Park earlier in the season, a second victory – by the comfortable margin of 132 runs – presents the surprising scenario of a C Team promotion push over the final few games of the season.
With a sea mist swirling across the Beaconsfield all afternoon, it was not exactly perfect for a day at the seaside but, having been asked to bat, openers Alborough and Joey Greenslade set about providing Melton with a good platform. The pair added 106 with Greenslade playing very sensibly and striking some fine cover drives while his more experienced partner was content to push singles and wait for deliveries slightly wide of the off stump which he crashed to the extra-cover or long off boundary with considerable aplomb. Greenslade eventually went in the 25th over, caught at deep mid-wicket for 36 – virtually his first cross-bat shot! At that stage it looked as if Melton were likely to score in the region of 240 but Tim Hales (7) and Ben Carding (1) came and went and the scoring rate slowed down as Alborough neared his century. The Beefy ton – his 6th – eventually came in the 38th over but, a few balls later, he was out, caught at long-off for an excellent 101, an innings that included 3 sixes and 12 fours. Steve Phoenix (2) went cheaply but Emily Reay (15), Sam Carding (14) and Daniel Hayward (8 not out) saw Melton to 200 and maximum batting points.
Ravi Raoul (3-43) and Adam Cory (3-49) both picked up 3 wickets but Lokesh (12-2-38-0) was really the pick of the Yarmouth bowlers.
Luke Marchant (5-1-16-0) bowled his usual good opening spell without reward but Hayward, who had picked up a fifer in his previous game, was soon among the wickets again, having opener Cory well-caught by Tim Hales in the gulley in his second over. More success soon followed as Nicholls (3), Hambrook (11) and Raoul (7) were all victims of the young seamer. At 33-4 the Yarmouth reply was in tatters. Ben Carding joined the party with his best senior spell of bowling to date as the steady trail of Yarmouth batsmen back to the pavilion continued. Hayward completed another fifer, returning his best-ever figures for Melton of 11-3-24-5 while Carding, generating a fair amount of pace and bowling an excellent line, took 4-19 in his 6-over spell leaving brother Sam to complete the victory clean-bowling last man Lokesh (8) – with his first and only ball! Yarmouth were all out for 68 in 21 overs and there were only 6 extras – 5 byes and a leg-bye!
It was another excellent win for Simon Carding’s C Team who have overcome their early-season team-raising troubles and are managing to find a winning combination of youth and experience which is proving more than a match for some of their Division 4 opponents. The big tests will come, however, in matches against Garboldisham, Colney and Old Buckenham who are more experienced than Melton but, with Winterton also capable of fielding a strong side, it looks like being an interesting end to the season.
Great Melton C
A.Alborough c.Barber b.Cory 101, J.Greenslade c.Hambrook by Raoul 36, T.Hales b.Raoul 7, B.Carding c.Manning b.Cory 1, E.Reay c.b.Cory 15, S.Phoenix b.Cory 2, Sam Carding c.Manning b.Hambrook 14, D.Hayward Not Out 8, Extras 16. TOTAL (7 wickets) 200 (Lokesh 12-2-38-0, J.Durrant 6-0-34-0, A.Cory 10-1-49-3, R.Raoul 10-1-43-3, P.Hambrook 7-0-29-1)
Great Yarmouth A
P.Hambrook c.Sam Carding b.Hayward 11, A.Cory c.Hales b.Hayward 7, K.Nicholls c.Alborough b.Hayward 3, M.Evans c.D.Greenslade b.B.Carding 7, R.Raoul b.Hayward 7, S.Powles b.Hayward 7, M.Barber b.B.Carding 4, M.Manning b.B.Carding 0, Goffin b.B.Carding 0, J.Durrant Not Out 8, Lokesh b.Sam Carding 8, Extras 6. TOTAL 68 (L.Marchant 5-1-16-0, D.Hayward 11-3-24-5, B.Carding 6-1-19-4, Sam Carding 0.1-0-0-1)