Great Melton (24pts) beat Kirkley and Lowestoft Railway (8pts) by 1 wicket to retain their lead at the top of Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division 3, mainly thanks to an outstanding performance with bat and ball from David Bunn.

After winning the toss, stand-in Melton skipper Marcus Godbold inserted the visitors on a flat track with a lightning outfield at a sun soaked Melton Park. However, Melton’s ‘pacey’ openers Richard Waddell and Darshan Rai could not get on top of the Kirkley batsmen. C Guy (53) doing the damage with a series of lusty blows through, and over the covers, taking Kirkley to a score of 79-1 off 11 overs. The introduction of Bunn (4-46) and ever-economical Oliver Harris (2-33) stemmed the flow of runs. Harris also accounting for the wickets of the dangerous Guy and was assisted by some smart work behind the stumps by Simon Woods to remove J Halstein (10), Bunn taking the wickets of M Bishop (0), J Block (8), J Lovelock (0) and C Meadows (5) which included 2 good catches in the gully by Jonathan Howard. During this, Kirkley skipper B Wilgoss (52*), quietly went about his business, playing decent cricket shots while his team mates were falling around him. A partnership of 56 between Wilgoss and S Howes (23) stemmed Melton’s progress before Waddell bowled Howes with a ‘jaffa’, leaving Howard’s (2-24) part time (but more than capable) off-spin to clean up the tail with the score on 195 all out. At tea the Melton skipper was feeling confident that his batting line-up was more than capable of chasing down this total with ease.

Melton suffered an early blow with Richard Wood (5) perishing in the 5th over to J Block (2-28), lobbing a catch to square leg. With George King (10) also removed in the 13th over, trapped LBW by C Guy (2-61), at 54-2, Melton looked in a spot of bother. With Dave Allum (41) progress looked solid and steady, however, was struggling to find a partner as Godbold (13) and Cook (2) both fell to soft dismissals. Waddell (39) came in to partner Allum and punished any bad deliveries in an attacking innings. Both batsmen departed in quick succession with the score at 147-6 with plenty of overs in hand. Howard (24) played a vital innings, with Man of the match David Bunn (19*), hitting timely boundaries. Bishop (2-56) removed Howard and with Harris (5) perishing in a run out and Woods (4) trapped LBW it was left to number 11 Rai to block out 2 balls before Bunn smashed a long hop through mid-wicket for 4 to win the game for Melton in the 43rd over.

An off-day for a few of Melton’s batsmen, but confidence can be taken from the fact it wasn’t their best performance, but managed to earn 24 points to remain at the head of the Division 3 table.

D Laws b. Waddell 3

C Guy c+b Harris 53

J Halstein st Woods b Harris 10

M Bishop c Howard b Bunn 0

B Wilgoss 52*

J Block c Allum b Bunn 8

J Lovelock b Bunn 0

C Meadows c Howard b Bunn 5

S Howes b Waddell 23

D Howes b Howard 6

L Caplin c Waddell b Howard 0

Extras: 35

Total: 195 all out

D Rai 5-1-39-0

R Waddell 10-0-49-2

D Bunn 11-2-46-4

O Harris 10-1-33-2

J Howard 5.2-0-24-2

R Wood c Meadows b Block 5

G King lbw Guy 10

D Allum c Wilgoss b Block 41

M Godbold c+b S Howes 13

M Cook b Guy 2

R Waddell b Bishop 39

J Howard c Guy b Bishop 24

O Harris run out 5

D Bunn 19*

S Woods lbw Caplin 4

D Rai 0*

Extras: 35

Total 197-9

L Caplin 4-0-27-1

S Howes 6-0-23-1

J Block 7-1-28-2

M Bishop 13-3-54-2

C Guy 13-1-61-2

Categories: 1st Team Reports