Great Melton A (18 Points) secured a winning draw against Mundford (8) at Melton Park in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
Great Melton A’s excellent season continued as a Martin Bunn half century and a fifer from Paul Movel saw them come within an ace of victory against Mundford which, coupled with Thetford’s defeat at Bungay leaves them just 19 points off second place.
On an excellent Melton Park surface Melton were inserted into bat but were happy to do so. Martin Bunn and Lee Whiddett opened the batting and the quality of the batting surface was obvious from the moment Whiddett hit three consecutive boundaries off J Yates on his way to making a breezy 21. A bigger score looked on with Melton starting solidly on 36-0 off 9 overs but Whiddett flashed at a wide delivery from Chris White and was well caught by opposition skipper Brassett at slip. Chris Greenslade joined Bunn and they maintained the momentum. Bunn put a sluggish start behind him as he struck a succession of fours and Greenslade looked in excellent touch as his 36 took the score to 134 in just 25 overs.
At that point a score of 270 looked on but Greenslade’s dismissal lead to something of a collapse as Martyn Cook (14) and Paul Stearman (6) both holed out and Chris Mckay was trapped lbw. Those wickets followed the leg before dismissal of Bunn (66) whose innings included 12 fours and a six.
Melton were suddenly 160-6 with still 15 overs to bat and things looked precarious. But Paul Movel and Oliver Harris produced an excellent partnership. Taking their time to play themselves in and with Movel surviving a caught and bowled opportunity missed by Brassett, they gradually found the middle of the bat to add 70 runs in 14 overs. Movel went for an excellent 37 and Harris followed soon after for 27, and with Simon Woods unfortunately out lbw first ball to the final delivery of the innings, Melton closed on 233-9.
The Mundford response started solidly. Chris Greenslade bowled with genuine pace but was unable to bowl enough balls at the stumps to consistently ask questions of the batsmen and R Woods (21) looked in good touch until mistiming a pull from Michael Farmer and handing an easy catch to Movel, leaving the score 44-1 after 10 overs.
Melton then put the squeeze on as spinners Harris and Rob Sims came on, going for just 23 runs between them in a 12 over spell. During that period Harris also trapped Florence (16) lbw to leave Mundford on 72-2 from 24 overs.
With Mundford seemingly looking to play out for the draw skipper Whiddett turned to his most potent bowling options and it was Sims who trapped left hander Yates (12) in front before Paul Movel then began to cause chaos in the opposition ranks with his unorthodox off cutters, outswing and quicker balls. Harrison (15) chipped a catch to Martyn Cook before Movel saw M Annear (3) become the 6th lbw victim of the match to leave Mundford 81-5 from 27 overs.
A Finch (10) and M Allsop (27) then dug in for the draw. Greenslade returned with another hostile spell, as much for the hands of keeper Woods as for the batsmen, but the breakthrough did not come until Movel castled Finch with an off-cutter to leave the score 149-6 from 40 overs.
Although only 6 overs remained, that exposed an end and when Allsop then uncharacteristically holed out to Paul Stearman off the excellent Sims (12-3-19-2) and then Movel made Brassett the 7th lbw victim of the game, the score was 152-8 with two overs to go.
From the 2nd ball of the final over, Movel (11-3-26-5) completed his fifer when White was once again struck on the pad in front of his stumps, but youngster Yates managed to see out the remaining four deliveries to give Mundford a losing draw.
This was nevertheless a dominant display from Melton and, with the bottom three clubs still to play in the remaining four games promotion remains a possibility. Before that, next week’s trip to Bungay looks pivotal, with Melton the only side to hand defeat to the champions-elect all season.
Great Melton A:
M Bunn lbw b Brassett 66
L Whiddett c Brassett b White 21
C Greenslade ct b Leader 36
M Cook c Florence b Leader 14
P Stearman ct b Leader 6
C Mckay lbw b Brassett 4
P Movel b Woods 37
O Harris b Woods 27
M Farmer Not Out 3
S Woods lbw b Woods 0
Total (9 Wickets, 46 Overs) 233
C White 7-1-20-1, J Yates 6-3-27-0, R Woods 7-0-44-3, M Leader 11-1-62-3, P Brassett 10-1-43-2, M Allsop 5-0-23-0
M Florence lbw b Harris 16
R Woods c Movel b Farmer 21
R Yates lbw b Sims 12
I Harrison c Cook b Movel 15
M Annear lbw b Movel 3
A Finch b Movel 10
M Allsop c Stearman b Sims 27
P Brassett lbw b Movel 1
M Leader Not Out 2
C White lbw b Movel 0
J Yates Not Out 0
Total (9 Wickets, 46 Overs) 157
C Greenslade 11-2-43-0, M Farmer 6-0-26-1, R Sims 12-3-19-2, O Harris 6-3-13-1, P Movel 11-3-26-5