Great Melton A (12pts) secured a winning draw with Hethersett & Tas Valley A (11) at Flordon in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
A superb fielding display made up for Great Melton A’s batting deficiency as they secured a share of the spoils with a winning draw against Tas Valley A at Flordon.
Inserted into bat, Martyn Cook and Martin Bunn provided a solid start. Cook (14) struck two meaty boundaries off Austin but then appeared to get over excited and was caught in the gully with the score 30-1 after 8 overs.
Lee Whiddett was then contentiously out caught behind for 0 but George Bunn joined his uncle and looked in good touch. Martin Bunn looked good in making 43 but was then bowled to leave Melton 70-3 from 18 overs. Simon Brett joined George and they added 25 more runs before Bunn (26) failed again to capitalise on a good start when he nicked off tamely to Rob Mitchell at slip.
With wickets falling at regular intervals Melton just could not get any impetus into their innings. The pattern continued as Neal Clarke made a scratchy 14 and Simon Brett carved a ball to point having made 24. Olly Harris was then run out and it took some good ball striking from Michael Farmer (11), good running from Simon Woods (10no) and a six off his first ball from Rob Sims (7no) to get Melton to 173-8, a below par total but at least something to defend.
Tas Valley got their reply off to a sound start with Rob Mitchell looking in good touch. Melton dried up the runs at the other end with A team debutant Daniel Hayward making a solid contribution of 6-2-23-0. At the other end, Michael Farmer produced his best bowling display of the season in a first spell of 6 overs for 13. Tas Valley were just 29-0 from 11 overs.
Spin twins Rob Sims and Olly Harris then came on and Sims made the breakthrough when Worley sportingly walked after a fine nick through to keeper Woods for 17, the score 67-1 after 21 overs. Mitchell followed soon after as, having rode his luck in making 46 he blasted a ball from Harris straight to Martin Bunn at cover.
Hayes (22) and Austin (29) steadied the Tas ship batting through the majority of Sims’ and Harris’ spells but with accurate bowling and an in-out field, they found it very difficult to locate the boundary and the scoring was slow, progressing to 97-2 from 31 overs.
Hayes was then well run out by Harris and Michael Farmer, returning for the impressive Sims (12-2-39-1), bowled Austin for 29. Dangerman Matt Steward (4) was then run out by Martin Bunn to leave Tas 131-5 from 38 overs, needing 43 to win.
Harris finished with a well deserved 12-0-41-1 and skipper Whiddett then replaced him for the important last 10 overs. Both he and Farmer conceded very few boundaries, and whilst Tas did their best they could not find the middle of the bat and had to settle for singles and the odd two. They took the equation to 14 needed from the last 2 overs, surely making them favourites. But 15 year old Farmer produced a superb penultimate over as he beat the bat 4 times to concede just 3 runs. Whiddett then took the wickets of Cooper and Hunt for a golden duck as he went for just 5 runs, leaving Tas 5 runs adrift on 168-7.
A superb fielding and bowling display from Melton gives them 12 points and keeps them in the hunt in a tight looking Division Four, with a big game at Narborough to come next.
Great Melton A:
M Cook c Hunt b Austin 14
M Bunn b Steward 43
L Whiddett c Hayes b Youngs 0
G Bunn c Mitchell b Baker 26
S Brett c Last b Austin 24
N Clarke c Steward b Austin 14
O Harris Run Out 8
S Woods Not Out 10
M Farmer st Hayes b Austin 11
R Sims Not Out 7
Extras 16 (14w, 2b)
Total (8 Wickets, 46 Overs) 173
J Youngs 8-1-27-1, D Austin 12-2-45-4, M Steward 11-2-49-1, A Baker 12-1-29-1, J McKenna 3-0-13-0
Hethersett & Tas Valley A:
R Mitchell c Bunn b Harris 46
M Worley c Woods b Sims 17
S Hayes Run Out (Cook/Sims) 22
D Austin b Farmer 29
M Steward Run Out (Bunn/Whiddett) 4
S Last Not Out 13
S Cooper lbw b Whiddett 19
T Hunt c Cook b Whiddett 0
J Youngs Not Out 0
Extras 18 (9w, 2b, 7lb)
Total (7 Wickets, 46 Overs) 168
M Farmer 11-2-33-1, D Hayward 6-2-23-0, R Sims 12-2-39-1, O Harris 12-0-41-1, L Whiddett 5-0-23-2