GREAT MELTON(19 points) beat OLD BUCKENHAM A (5 points) by 6 wickets at Old Buckenham in the Norfolk Alliance Division 3
Melton’s First XI won a hard-earned promotion to Division 2 of the Norfolk Alliance with a win away at Old Buckenham. Needing victory from one of the last two fixtures of the season, not for the first time, skipper Olly Harris called correctly to win a very valuable toss. Old Buckenham tends to be something of a batsman’s paradise, but unfortunately, the covers had done only half a job over night. This left a peculiar bar code effect, with saturated patches on a good length at each end of the strip, and gloriously hard areas in between. It was like batting on two different pitches at the same time, and it caused problems for batsman of both sides all afternoon.
Whilst the ball misbehaved for the whole of the game, the home side had the tricky task of setting a challenging total. They adopted an understandably cautious approach, the result of conditions and an excellent opening spell by Ben Carding and, in particular, Aslam Mohammed. The ball swung and seamed and both were unlucky not to claim wickets. However, James Alexander stuck around to score a valuable 64. Harris (9-2-22-1), Moye (5-1-20-1), Rennie (8-0-33-0) and Garner (9-2-17-0) later took the pace off the ball and equally exploited the conditions to keep a tight rein on the batsman, including Peter Free, who did go on to score an unbeaten half century. This resulted in a slightly curiously looking total of 157 for 2 from 45 overs, but this was a more demanding challenge for Melton by reason of the surface conditions.
It seemed that it might be more than enough as Melton struggled to only 8 runs from as many overs, as the new ball held sway. But gradually, the batsman found a way to get on top of the home attack, with Ben Mann leading the charge with a brutal onslaught on the Buckingham off spinner which turned the game decisively in the visitor’s favour. He was to cut and pull beautifully to 41 before being caught behind on the eve of drinks. It was left to Richard Wood (56 not out) to marshall what followed, albeit in more characteristically sober fashion, to see Melton to a 6 wicket win. Time for celebrations next Saturday!
For scorecard click here: http://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3135552