GREAT MELTON A (253-8) 21 points beat OLD CATTON (245-3) 9 pts by 8 runs at Old Catton in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Div 5 on Saturday
Great Melton A’s first visit to Old Catton Rec saw 498 runs for the loss of 11 wickets which implies batsman friendly conditions but that picture could have been so much different if either side had been able to hold their catches.
Indeed, it looked in advance a bowler’s day. The wicket grassy & uneven with grey skies overhead, the Catton skipper had no hesitation in bowling first. That decision looked vindicated in the early overs as Peter Young found pace & bounce with the new ball to cause the Melton top order a number of problems, seeing off the both Whiddetts & Martin Bunn for not many. When Sam Mann also fell cheaply the away team found themselves teetering at 54-4.
What was required now from the batsmen was solidity, circumspection, self-denial, grit & determination to grind it out in order to slowly rebuild the innings. Unfortunately, the 2 batsmen at the crease were Ben Mann (75) & Nick Aston (78). They displayed none of those qualities & instead opted to swing, swipe, cut, thrust & swashbuckle their way out of it. Both of them offered catches that were not held & rode their luck but also, crucially, displayed considerable skill & power, dispatching the ball to all parts in a highly entertaining & match-winning stand of 134.
With a little late innings flourish from Lohit & Josh, Melton amassed the imposing total of 253-8.
In reply, Melton struck early when Kyle Mason castled opener Quinton with a booming in-swinger. At this stage they looked odds-on to force a comfortable victory but the next wicket fell 40 overs, 10 dropped catches & 211 runs later as Catton skipper Giles Pickett (90) and Jake Fossey (105) constructed an impressive attempt at the run chase that looked to be going in their favour until Pickett was removed by Josh Wright in the dying overs. Even then, the result remained in doubt until the last ball when 8 runs were still required.
In spite of the drops, the ground fielding was generally good & Melton bowled well throughout. It was pleasing to see Ben Mann resume his bowling career, Josh Wright stood up manfully to the task of returning to the attack in the closing overs, but the pick of the bunch was the irrepressible Sam Mann, whose 9 overs of round-the-wicket-coming-through off spin went for only 27 runs & included him also retuning to bowl at the death, which he also stood up to well. Well, I think he was standing up anyway…
Full scorecard available here