Mellis (22 points) beat Great Melton C (7 points) at Town Close in the Norfolk League Division 4SW
Completely unlike last week’s run fest at Garboldisham, Melton found themselves defending a below-par total of 136 unsuccessfully. However, Melton battled well and managed to take 8 wickets before visitors Mellis managed to reach their target.
Melton were asked to bat and Jamie Dutton and new opening batting partner David Bunn took to the middle. Despite problems with his run up, Christiaan Partridge bowled a tight line, eventually not even conceding a single boundary off his allotted 10 overs. Mark Prior was a bit looser but got the ball to move, and after getting hit for boundaries off the bat of Bunn, took the first wicket of the day – through the gate of Dutton (3). Bunn (18) was soon to follow, nicking Prior behind and Melton found themselves for 34-2 after the first 13 overs.
The reverse fixture saw Mellis amassing 359 runs so Melton focussed on batting the full 45 overs as their primary target. Both Chris Wright (3) and Kyle Weston (14) fell foul to low bounce, seeing their stumps being struck off the bowling of Partidge and the pacier Andy Smith respectively. Melton were now 72-4 with Duncan Greenslade and Dale Weston were in charge of getting their team into a respectable position. Greenslade was happy to rotate the strike and put the fielders under pressure whereas Weston was hitting hard, tarnishing the figures of Prior at the end of his 10 over spell. He also hit the lofty Stephen Matthews for a maximum over long-on, but two balls later completely miscued a high drive and the younger of the Matthews took an excellent catch running in hard from the covers, out for 33. Skipper Rennie (12) either nailed the ball or played and missed and was unfortunate not to get his innings going before being sharply caught and bowled by spinner Peter Tomson. Josh Wright came in to bat the last 3 overs with Greenslade (32*) and some good shots and some rapid running between the wickets saw Melton to 136, Wright being caught on the last ball for 3.
It took Melton 6 overs to take their first scalp of Mellis’ reply, Vic Ahmed (5) finding a leading edge to Duncan Greenslade off the bowling of Dale Weston. Number three Ben Roberts (4) looked to be positive from the get-go but unwisely left the ball on length and bowler Zef Ishtiaq was delighted to see the ball skim the off-stump – one of the deliveries of the season! Dale Weston picked up another, Rowland Warboys (1) chipping it back to him. After 10 overs, Mellis’ reply was 25-3, requiring another 112 to win – both teams very much in it.
Other opener Ben Box (15) walked after feathering an edge to wicketkeeper Kai Wilkinson-Loines but it would the next two batsmen, Andy Smith and Peter Tomson that made the difference between the two sides. Controversially, Tomson was given not out to another caught behind appeal early on in his innings off the bowling of Dale Weston who caused all sorts of problems with a wobbling ball all afternoon. It would be Dale’s son, Kyle Weston who would break the partnership with an extraordinary ball that looked to miss the stumps down leg by some margin, but would eventually uproot the off stump, Smith the perhaps unfortunate victim for 38.
At 80-5 in the 23rd over, it was still anyone’s game. Wilkinson-Loines had a shy at the stumps and managed to run out the younger Matthews (16). David Bunn managed to bowl Mark Prior (6) and Kyle Weston took a good catch to dismiss a frustrated Stephen Matthews (5) off Clive Rennie’s bowling but Mellis’ solid boundary hitting had done the damage, requiring only another 4 at the fall of the eighth wicket. The match ended rather anti-climactically with 2 wides but Tomson’s sensible 38 not out was ultimately match-winning, with the Mellis tail providing enough resistance to hold on.
Next week sees a visit to Hingham for the Cs, their last game of the season. Mellis’ win saw them all but consolidate a top-two finish and the Cs lie third ahead of Garboldisham Cs by 43 points (though they have a game in hand). Melton will look to finish on a high but Hingham are currently the table-toppers.