Great Melton entertained league leaders Downham Town, hoping to exorcise the noisome spirit of the un-reportable defeat by Saxlingham last week, however, having lost the toss and with imperforate cloud cover, it was no surprise that the home side was asked to bat.
The Melton innings could not have begun in a worse fashion, with opener Chris Greenslade losing his off stump in the first over to Crisp for 0, he was followed three overs later by Cook, who was also bowled, but by Grady for 1. This brought Richard Wood to the wicket to join his usual opening partner, Jason Whiddett and together they again steadied the ship in slightly sonambulatory, yet required manner, Downham fielding well and bowling a disciplined line and length also making scoring difficult. Wood and Whiddett took the score to 82, before Whiddett was caught off the bowling of off-spinner Chaualan for 41. Downham continued to bowl and field tightly and 6 overs later Clarke departed, controversially stumped off the bowling of Chaualan for 7. Wood fell soon after, caught off the bowling of Crisp for a controlled 44. The Melton innings, wavering between abject respectability and impotence, required direction and this was given by youngster Kieran Pask and Skipper, Richard Waddell. With intuitive running and controlled hitting the pair put on 49 before Pask was caught off the bowling of Sharp for a well made 32. Waddell finished 29 not out, Harris 5 not out and the total from 46 overs was 165 for 6.
The total set by Melton, whilst not Brobdingnagian, would still need some work to overhaul, as the conditions were still slightly favouring the bowlers. Pask and Greenslade opened the bowling, Pask immediately settled to his task and bowled a probing line and length and in his second over removed both Grommett and Gould, both bowled. Greenslade however was not his usual, hostile self and was soon replaced by Waddell. With 2 consecutive maidens, a brake was put on the scoring, but only temporarily, Sharp and Coe began peppering the boundary again. Waddell removed himself from the attack and was replaced by Sims, immediately dropping into a nagging line and length. In Pask’s next over, Harris smartly caught Sharp for 20, at this point, Downham Town were 55 for 3 yet still looking to finish the game at a canter. Pask finished off a fine spell of 3 for 35 from 7 overs and was replaced by Paul Movel. Movel, as usual, began his spell with a suggestion of the orphic; when Sims removed Coe in his 3rd over Melton began to sense victory and began to turn the screw. Downham, powerless to resist, collapsed against the combined talents of Movel and Sims to 86 all out, Great Melton winning by 79 runs.
Great Melton 1st XI : 165-6
(Wood 44, Whiddett 41, Pask 32, Waddell 29*, Chaualan 2-35)
Downham Town A XI : 86 All Out
(Coe 28, Sims 4-8, Movel 3-5, Pask 3-35)