Great Melton A (21 Points) beat Winterton (6) by 4 wickets at Hambrook Oval in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
G Hudson c Moxon b De Salis 0
F Playford b Gristwood 9
R Edmonds c Stearman b Gristwood 39
M Witheridge c Stearman b De Salis 24
L Chapman b Rennie 4
P Tilbrook c Ducker b Stearman 38
B Utting Not Out 14
K Percival Not Out 13
Total (6 Wickets, 46 Overs) 164
L De Salis 12-7-13-2, N Gristwood 12-2-48-2, P Movel 10-2-37-0, P Stearman 6-0-44-1, A Rennie 6-2-10-1
Great Melton A:
L Whiddett lbw b Tilbrook 15
M Clarke lbw b Snowling 19
G Ducker c Snowling b Tilbrook 13
S Mann c Lockhart b Tilbrook 24
P Stearman b Tilbrook 21
J Greenslade b Seago 1
J Moxon Not Out 24
N Gristwood Not Out 16
Total (6 Wickets, 32.3 Overs) 165
B Utting 5-0-28-0, C Lockhart 3.3-0-16-0, P Tilbrook 12-3-48-4, D Snowling 7-1-31-1, J Seago 4-0-22-1, K Percival 1-0-6-0
A gutsy display saw Great Melton A maintain their fine start to the season as they toughed out a four wicket win at a very competitive Winterton.
Lee Whiddett continued his impressive tossing record this season with another correct call and was pleased to insert the home side on a pitch that looked to have some bare patches, although other than some tennis ball bounce the surface actually played well, coupled with a small ground and fast outfield.
Nevertheless Melton made a fine start to their fielding innings with maidens from Leo De Salis and Nick Gristwood, and in the third over De Salis removed Hudson for a duck as Jon Moxon pouched the catch at mid-on.
That brought Ryan Edmonds to the crease to join Fred Playford, but with Gristwood and De Salis both bowling very few loose deliveries, Playford was castled by a Gristwood yorker to leave Winterton 20-2 after 10 overs.
A brief fightback ensued with a trademark attacking innings by Martin Witheridge as he took 22 from two Gristwood overs, but shortly after he was dismissed for a breezy 24 when Paul Stearman took a simple catch at long-off to give De Salis a second wicket. Some momentum had at least been injected into the home side’s innings but De Salis continued to frustrate Edmonds in a remarkable spell of 12-7-13-2. Paul Movel’s initial spell, replacing Gristwood, also yielded only 6 runs from 5 overs and so after 24 overs Winterton were only 55-3.
There was then an unfortunate incident as De Salis was struck on the back of the head by a Joey Greenslade throw from the boundary and was unable to take further part in the match. Paul Stearman replaced the wily bowler but was unable to find his usual good line and length in a spell of 4-0-20-0. But at the other end Alex Rennie produced a fine spell of slow bowling as he bowled Lewis Chapman, going on to record 6-2-10-1.
At the other end, Edmonds was playing a curious innings lacking attacking intent, and after 36 overs Winterton were looking well behind the required run rate at 93-4. Nick Gristwood and Paul Movel again proved difficult to get away in their second spells and it was not really until the final four overs that Winterton chanced their arm, adding 43 runs thanks to positive knocks from Ben Utting and Kevin Percival to close on 164-6.
Melton felt confident that the total was very chaseable and Lee Whiddett and Matt Clarke provided exactly the sort of platform that they were looking for as an erratic spell from Charles Lockhart allowed the visitors to race to 34-0 from 7 overs. Tilbrook replaced Lockhart and he made the breakthrough when Whiddett was trapped lbw for 15. The momentum continued, however, as George Ducker took 10 from Danny Snowling’s first over replacing Utting. After 11 overs Melton were 62-1 with the run rate no issue.
Wickets did, however, continue to fall regularly as Ducker guided a ball from Tilbrook to Snowling in the gully for 13, and then Clarke (19) was lbw to Snowling. Sam Mann and Paul Stearman continued the momentum though, punishing anything loose with Mann playing some fine shots to take Melton to 95-3 from 20 overs.
Again, both were unable to go on as Mann (24) chipped a catch to mid-wicket and then Stearman (21) was bowled by Tilbrook (12-3-48-4). With Joey Greenslade (1) then bowled by Seago, Melton were struggling to get over the line at 137-6 from 29 overs.
But Jon Moxon and Nick Gristwood provided the maturity to take the visitors over the line. Several huge appeals were turned down as Winterton became increasingly frustrated, but Moxon and Gristwood looked unflustered. Moxon, making his first A team appearance of the season, played very well for his 24 not out and Gristwood, the hero of last week’s narrow Sheringham win, was also unbowed on 16 as Melton got to their target with over 12 overs to spare.