This was the first time Great Melton First XI faced one of their top of the table rivals, and it was a relief to see the wet spell break to make way for more cricket-friendly weather. Despite concerns, the wicket played beautifully so much so that the toss of the coin was not as vital as was thought at the outset of the game. Having been inserted, the home side put together a well disciplined 226 for 8 from their 45 overs, with most batsman making contributions. Not for the first time, Ben Mann (48) got Melton off to a flying start with an innings full of hard hitting flourishes. Matthew Clarke (30) and Connor Stearman (45) consolidated well in the middle of the innings leaving Sam Mann (26) and skipper Waddell, smashing 28 from a handful of deliveries at the end, to take the total past 200.
The visitors seemed confident at the outset but never quite seemed able to stay in touch with the run rate, and regularly lost wickets. Waddell (3-27) and Nick Mackenzie (3-43) impressed with 3 wickets apiece. Aslam Mohammed and Luke Marchant also bowled with aggression to each take a brace of victims. Were it not for a magnificent 81 from Nathan King, Bircham would have badly floundered. As it was, they were all out for 169 in the 43rd over to give Melton maximum points, thus consolidating their lead at the top of Division 3.
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