Great Melton beat Hardingham by 76 runs at Hardingham in the 1st round of the Bernard Matthews Cup
Great Melton dominated this 16 x 8 balls match from start to finish to easily beat an under strength opposition. Captain Godbold elected to unleash the lethal short format talent, that is Martin Cook from the outset and the young batsmen did not disappoint as he plundered the home sides bowling to various angles of the leg side boundary. Cook’s opening partner Allum (6) did a good job of feeding the strike to his hard hitting partner but departed earlier than he would have liked, as did Martin Bunn (0), who like Allum had his stumps knocked over by the best of the bowlers faced.
Townshed’s (2-40) two in two briefly got his side back in the game but Cook (83) found a willing morale breaking partner in Matt Clarke, the in-form duo putting the game beyond the near neighbours with an aggressive 87 run partnership in 6 overs.
Clarke was the skill to Cook’s brawn but equally impressive as he knocked up a very good 58 not out, Melton finishing as well as they started on 168-4. Cook innings featured 11 fours and 3 sixes whilst Clarke had to do a lot more running to aid his score. The regular call of ‘two’s up’ more prevalent then perhaps we would have all liked and a bit too much in the end for the fitness of the chunky opener!
Daryl Godbold and Daniel Hayward strangled the reply immediately with only 7 runs recorded on the board from the first 32 deliveries. The pitch was a lot more difficult than the two Melton stars made it look and it wasn’t until Hardingham’s Captain Sparkes (48) started to attack the bowling did the home ever get anywhere near used to the low bounce and slowness of the damp surface.
Sparkes never found a partner good enough to mount a challenge however, as Harris and Hayward the elder continued to use the pitch to Melton’s advantage. A late burst from the ever improving Chris Greenslade (1-8) condemned the batting team to a tame 92-7 from the full allocation.
Victory means Melton won’t be able to defend the Junior Cup this season and can only dream of beating the elite of Norfolk cricket to win the Bernard Matthews Cup. The enormity of the task highlighted by the Alliance Div 2 side having to face Great Witchingham for a place in the quarter finals.
M Cook c Sheehan b Sparks 83, D Allum b Townshed 6, M Bunn b Townshed 0, M Clarke not out 58, C Greenslade c and b Hastings 11, R Waddell not out 1 Extras 10 TOTAL 168 (4 wickets) from 16 overs. J Turner 2-0-27-0, S Townshed 4-0-40-2, J Fowle 4-0-31-0, C Sparks 2-0-25-1, M Hastings 4-0-40-1,
J Perfect run out 3, G King st Clarke b Hayward 1, C Sparkes b Greenslade 48, J West Lindell st Clarke b Hayward 0, J Turner c Godbold b R Hayward 8, C Hearn b Harris 7, G Sheehan run out 2, M Plunkett not out 12, M Hastings not out 1. Extras 10 TOTAL 92 (7 wickets) from 16 overs. D Godbold 2-0-3-0, D Hayward 3-0-20-2, R Hayward 4-0-29-1, O Harris 4-0-25-1, C Greenslade 2-0-8-1, D Allum 1-0-7-0