Great Melton (19) Beat Gt. Witchingham (8) by 6 wickets in the Mid-Norfolk League Shield Premier division.
Great Melton hosted Great Witchingham at a sunny Melton park in the last weekend of July still searching for their first win of the season.
Winning the toss the Witchingham skipper decided to put the home side into bat in the hope that a side that was bottom of the league would buckle under the pressure of setting a total and present the away side with a chance of a comfortable victory.
Things worked out quite differently as opening pair Chris Greenslade and Matt Clarke set about posting a commanding total as the run rate of the first 10 overs was just over 6 with Greenslade initially impressing as his first eight scoring shots were all boundaries.
They had added 76 until in the 14th over when Clarke nicked one behind off Witchingham slow bowler Hales for 21 which brought Jonathan ‘Ernie’ Ellse to the crease and together with Greenslade they continued to score at just over 6 an over and the latter soon reached his half century.
Ellse was caught miscuing a shot for 36 and Martyn Cook joined, by now, the dominant Greenslade in the middle looking to continue with the belligerent run rate and get his partner on strike.
Greenslade continued to impress, off the front and back foot but driving particularly well, punishing anything slightly off line by the visitors bowling attack. In the 30th over he smashed yet another ball to the boundary, this one his 16th, to bring up a magnificent maiden senior hundred. Cook was caught trying to clear the boundary for a typically aggressive 35 whilst Greenslade continued in the same manner until he was dismissed in the last over for a brilliant 153 containing 1 six and 23 fours.
The innings finishing on 264-4.
After tea the Melton bowlers got straight into their stride with Michael Farmer bowling a good line and length taking a wicket in the first over and although Cook was a little wayward at the other end some generous umpiring helped keep the run rate low. It was Farmer who took the second wicket of the innings 10 overs later leaving the visitors on 37-2 after 11.
This brought J. Page and J. Hales together and they added 95 for the 3rd wicket with home skipper George Bunn turning to slow bowlers Neal Clarke and Joe Bickel. It took Clarke a couple of overs to find his rhythm and Bickel bowled with good flight and control but neither batsman looked in trouble.
Just when it looked like the Witchingham pair were going to make an unlikely charge for their target Page misjudged a shorter ball from Clarke lobbing it up to Ellse at mid-off to give Melton the breakthrough they wanted.
Bunn decided a change was need after Bickel’s last couple of overs were expensive bringing on Lee Whiddett and the change had almost instant reward. In his second over Whiddett had his first wicket then Clarke followed that with his second and two overs later they both had two wickets a piece as Whiddett had J. Harbour smartly stumped by Matt Clarke. Melton had run through the visitors middle order effectively ending the game as a contest, the only thing left to be determined was whether J. Hales would reach his century or not.
With Clarke finishing his spell George Ducker replaced him taking a wicket in his fourth and the final over of the innings but not before Hales had completed the second century of the match.
An excellent performance with bat and ball from the home side producing the end result that perhaps a few other performances this season had merited but not gained. A few more all round efforts like this one for the rest of the season and maybe the Sunday side can pull themselves off the bottom of the table and finish on a high.
Great Melton Innings.
C. Greenslade ct Bateman b. Hales 153, M. Clarke ct Groves b. Hales 21, J. Ellse ct Symonds b. Dellucchi 36, M. Cook ct Rogers b. Hales 35, L. Whiddett 2*, G. Bunn 3* TOTAL 264-4 (14 Extras). J. Page 10-1-78-0, E. Bateman 5-1-34-0, J. Hales 9-0-59-3, W. Rogers 10-0-61-0, H. Dellucchi 6-0-25-1.
Great Witchingham Innings.
R. Symonds ct Ducker b. Farmer 0, W. Rogers ct Ellse b. Farmer 14, J. Hales 101*, J. Page ct Ellse b. N. Clarke 38, M. Hales ct Wooldridge b. Whiddett 3, H. Debenham ct Ducker b. N. Clarke 4, J. Harbour st M. Clarke b. Whiddett 10, H. Dellucchi ct N. Clarke b. Ducker 14, T. Groves 0* TOTAL 208-7 (24 Extras). M. Farmer 10-2-43-2, M. Cook 6-0-28-0, N. Clarke 10-1-55-2, J. Bickel 6-0-38-0, L. Whiddett 4-0-19-2, G. Ducker 4-0-20-1.