Great Melton U15s’ batting let them down as they spurned a great chance of victory over local rivals Swardeston in their first game of the season. The visitors, minus 2 players at the start time, unsurprisingly elected to bat having won the toss, but lost the early wicket of Luke Bettridge for nought, caught behind by Nat Buxton off the bowling of Robert Mackintosh. Skipper Tom Chambers and Charlie Barber, scored quickly, though, until Chambers mistimed a drive and was caught by Charlie Green for 15. Wickets then fell quickly as “golden-arm” Ethan Rushton took over. He clean-bowled Lake, Powell & Howarth and, although Barber retired on 30 before returning, he was caught be Corey Rushton off Green without adding to his score to leave Swardeston all out for 57.
The bowlers were impressive with Rushton’s 3-1 off 2 overs outstanding. Kannan (1-8), Mackintosh (1-14) and Green (2-3) were the other wicket-takers while Green, Buxton, Mawby & Corey Rushton all took good catches.
On an overcast, drizzly evening the light was poor but scoring 58 to win in 16 overs should have been fairly straightforward for Melton’s batsmen but, once Buxton went first ball and fellow-opener Kannan was bowled by Bettridge for 1, doubts crept in. Mackintosh scored 12 and Corey Rushton an unbeaten 11 but there were just too many reckless strokes as Swardeston’s bowlers maintained the pressure. The mix-up that saw Cassie Mawby run out to end the Melton innings on 44, still 13 runs short, just about summed up Melton’s batting performance.
Full credit to Swardeston who did well to defend their small total. For Melton it was just “one of those days” and there will be plenty of chances to improve with the bat as the season progresses.
Full scorecard can be viewed at: http://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/4038998