If the breadth of skipper Ollie Harris’ smile at the end of the game is anything to go by, then this was a very impressive win at Fakenham. The carefully paced chase towards the home side’s first innings of 188 all out was magnificently led by Matt Clarke who scored the winning runs to leave him on 99 not out. His innings was filled with shots of power and timing, but also laced with discipline and patience. Supported by Whiddett and Wood, Melton were always just about in touch with the required rate, and it was left to all rounder Aslam to escort Clarke over the finishing line.
The home side had lost the toss and had been into bat on a cold and drizzly day, when some of the older members of the squad had been forced to resort to an excessive number of clothing layers. It was one of those days when bowlers live in fear of the dreaded second spell. Fakenham had got off to a good start with Futter and Brammant putting on 61 for the first wicket. But from thereon in, Harris took control of the innings and in the process took 5-31 off his 9 overs. He demonstrated great control and nipped the ball around both ways. He was well supported by Grant (2-36) and Aslam (3-45) who shared out the wickets in the latter part of the innings. Fakenham’s effort was led by Bammant who scored 91.
As already stated, it was left to Clarke to add the finishing touches, and with 10 needed from the last 9 deliveries, he ‘short arm jabbed’ a delivery over the midwicket boundary to crush any remaining hopes for the home side. It can sometimes take a champagne moment like this to make a skipper grin from ear to ear.