GREAT MELTON (6 points) lost to HORSFORD A (24 points) by 7 wickets at Melton Park in the Norfolk Alliance Division 1
While other matches fell foul of the weather or batsmen struggled in the damp conditions, it was a veritable run feast at Melton Park last Saturday. Two of Melton’s new recruits, Dave Maskell and Dave Adams scored 73 and 74 respectively but, if Melton needed a reminder of how tough things are likely to be in Division 1, it came as Horsford A chased it down Melton’s 256-8 with 3 overs and 7 wickets to spare.
Jason Whiddett and Maskell gave Melton’s innings a solid start with 55 for the first wicket before Whiddett was bowled by Saunders for 18. That brought together Maskell and Adams and the two former Saxlingham players, playing with great assurance, moved the score on to 136 in the 32nd over before Maskell was dismissed, his 73 including 13 fours and a six. Richard Wood looked to push the score along but mistimed a shot through midwicket and was caught for 18. Sam Mann (8) and Adams added a quick 49 before Mann sacrificed himself following a mix-up that ended in a run out. That sparked something of a collapse with Adams out for an excellent 72, Martyn Cook for 2, Ben Mann for 9 and George Bunn for a duck, however some lusty blows from skipper Richard Waddell took Melton’s score past 250. In fact 256-8 looked a challenging total although, possibly 20 fewer than Melton looked likely to make after such a good start. Matt Wilkinson’s 3-66 of 12 overs made him the best of the Horsford bowlers but T.Saunders (13-3-40-1) proved the least expensive.
Like Horsford, Melton were short of seam bowlers with Kieran Pask unavailable until the school holidays begin and Chris Greenslade’s work commitments making his appearances intermittent so Richard Waddell was hopeful that himself and Ben Mann could achieve an early breakthrough before the slow bowlers took over. Horsford openers Jamie Hayburn, who started as a Melton junior and Lewis Bellchamber looked in little trouble, however, racing to 50 in just 8 overs. It was just the start the visitors needed. Adams was unable to stem the flow of runs and, although the wily, left-arm spin of Rob Simms restored an element of control for Melton, the score had moved on to 97 before Bellchamber was run out in the 17th over one short of his fifty. Simms continued to bowl well, returning figures of 13-3-31-0 but Wilkinson looked in ominously good touch, moving his feet well and playing some impressive drives. Heyburn was eventually caught behind off Harris for 65 but, by then, Wilkinson was well established and he found another willing partner in K.Patel. As the game slipped away from Melton and even the economical Harris, struggled to contain the Horsford batsmen, Wadddell turned to George Bunn but, Wilkinson and Patel took 19 off his first over and, even though Bunn trapped him lbw in his second, the visitors were virtually home and (almost) dry! Harwood hit 2 fours and a six in his quick-fire 15 and, with Patel unbeaten on 42, Horsford were comfortable winners in the end.
J.Whiddett b.Saunders 18, D.Maskell c.Minns b.Browne 73, D.Adams c.Bellchamber b.Wilkinson 72, R.Wood c.Doyle b.Pate 18, S.Mann Run Out 8, M.Cook lbw Wilkinson 2, B.Mann lbw Wilkinson 9, R.Waddell Not Out 24, G.Bunn b.Bellchamber 0, O.Harris Not Out 3, Extras 29. TOTAL (8 wickets) 256 (T.Saunders 13-3-40-1, J.Heyburn 5-0-25-0, M.Wilkinson 12-1-66-3, C.Browne 9-0-53-1, K.Patel 8-1-48-1, L.Bellchamber 3-0-21-1)
J.Heyburn c.Wood b.Harris 65, L.Bellchamber Run Out 49, M.Wilkinson lbw Bunn 65, K.Patel Not Out 42, S.Harwood Not Out 15, Extras 20. TOTAL (3 wickets) 257 (B.Mann 4-1-23-0, R.Waddell 6-0-48-0, D.Adams 11.5-0-65-0, R.Simms 13-3-31-0, O.Harris 9-1-52-1, G.Bunn 4-1-33-1)