Great Melton A (24 Points) beat Hethersett & Tas Valley A (7) by 57 runs at Flordon in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
Great Melton A:
L Whiddett c Parfitt b Steward 15
N Clarke lbw b Young 0
J Ellse c Parfitt b Young 13
P Stearman c Abbas b Austin 21
G Ducker caught b Ellis 19
J Moxon c Mitchell b Baker 16
J Greenslade b Ellis 5
P Movel Not Out 67
J Bickel lbw b Steward 3
T Smith st Parfitt b Abbas 2
L De Salis caught b Abbas 0
Total (All Out, 40 Overs) 186
J Young 9-0-44-2, M Steward 12-2-29-2, F Ellis 6-0-28-2, D Austin 6-1-37-1, A Baker 5-0-29-1, A Abbas 2-1-12-2
Hethersett & TV A:
R Mitchell lbw b Smith 0
R Ellis lbw b Movel 17
T Hunt c Stearman b Smith 10
M Steward b Movel 8
D Parfitt c Greenslade b Stearman 36
S Cooper lbw b Movel 0
D Austin lbw b Stearman 9
J Youngs b Smith 14
A Baker b Stearman 0
A Abbas b Movel 6
F Ellis Not Out 0
Total (All Out, 42.1 Overs) 129
T Smith 11-4-22-3, L De Salis 7-0-15-0, P Movel 10.1-1-53-4, P Stearman 13-2-27-3, J Bickel 1-1-0-0
Paul Movel starred with bat and ball as Great Melton A convincingly won their relegation showdown with Tas Valley A at a sunny Flordon.
Given the importance of the fixture, league umpires were appointed and they saw Lee Whiddett lose an 8th consecutive toss, Tas duly inserting the visitors to make their task of achieving a victory that much more difficult.
Things did not improve as Neal Clarke was out lbw for 0 in the 5th over, although by that stage Whiddett had already struck three boundaries, showing signs of a return to form just as the season comes to its conclusion. Jon Ellse joined Whiddett and struck two superb cover drives for four, but it all went wrong soon after as Whiddett (15) was nicked off by the impressive Matt Steward and then Ellse (13) went in the same manner moments later to leave Melton 36-3 in the 11th over.
Paul Stearman and George Ducker rebuilt the innings, looking to see off Steward, and they added 47 runs in 9 overs before both fell in quick succession, Stearman holing out for 21 and Ducker making 19. At 88-5 in the 22nd over, Melton looked in serious trouble. Soon after it was 102-6 as Joey Greenslade was unable to to repeat his heroics since coming into the side.
At that point Melton looked as though they could be bowled out for a sub-standard total of around 130. But Paul Movel, not renowned for his batting, produced his best innings in a Melton shirt as, ably supported by Jon Moxon (16) and then Joe Bickel, he ran well and despatched the bad ball superbly. Movel struck three sixes and seven fours in adding 31 with Moxon and 28 with Bickel. At that stage Melton had reached 161-8 in 36 overs, and Tom Smith dug in to help add another 25 runs before he was stumped and then Leo De Salis disappointly chipped to mid off to leave Movel stranded on 67 and Melton all out in 40 overs, giving Tas 52 overs to chase 187. For the home side, Matt Steward was by far the outstanding bowler with 12-2-29-2 but their fielding was at times sloppy and probably gifted the A’s 25 runs.
With a defendable score on the board, early wickets were the key and from the first ball of the Tas reply, Tom Smith got Rob Mitchell to play across the line and was trapped in front. Richard Ellis and Tristan Hunt built steadily to take the score to 27 in 10 overs, with Leo De Salis struggling with his line as a result of the idiosyncratic slope of the Tas wicket. A key moment arose when Paul Stearman, cleverly positioned on the drive given the ‘hard hands’ of Hunt, took a wonderful one handed catch to dismiss the number three for 10 and give the excellent Smith a second wicket. 27-2 after 11 overs.
With Smith finishing his spell, the stage was set for Movel to do what he does best. Matt Steward took a couple of boundaries and is always a dangerous player, but he was swiftly removed as Movel bowled a fast yorker that demolished his stumps. Richard Ellis had looked solid in moving to 17 but looked all at sea against Movel’s off-cutters and eventually was undone by playing across a low full-toss, and then moments later S Cooper fell for a duck in the same manner, giving Movel three wickets in five overs and leaving Tas 59-5 from 21 overs.
At the other end, Paul Stearman was providing the perfect support in an economical spell, but the counter-attack did come from Dean Parfitt as he struck a tiring Movel for several boundaries and the score ticked around to 93 in 29 overs as the game began to look more even.
The important breakthrough came from Stearman as he trapped Austin lbw to break the partnership, and then the vital wicket of Parfitt for 36 as he nicked a ball to Joey Greenslade. J Youngs rode his luck for 14 but Stearman continued to look dangerous, bowling very full and straight, and he eventually removed Baker to record excellent figures of 13-2-27-3. When Tom Smith, bowling a fine second spell, castled Youngs, Tas were 120-9 with still 12 overs to bowl.
Asad Abbas took Tas to a second batting point but was then cleaned up by, who else, Movel who finished with 10.1-1-53-4 to go with his batting heroics.
The result puts Melton 22 points ahead of Tas, with only the bottom side likely to be relegated from Division Four but with Tas still to visit Stow A on 14th September. Melton’s fate will be sealed then, but this was an excellent performance in a big match situation which the A’s can be proud of, whatever the outcome of this turbulent season.