GREAT MELTON (25 points) beat BUNGAY (9 points) by 31 runs at Melton Park in the Norfolk Alliance Division 3
Melton were immediately out of their comfort zone in this clash, when the skipper of Bungay correctly called heads and asked the home side to have the first knock on a track which was to offer some assistance to the bowlers who were able to hit good lines and lengths. Most batsmen found it difficult to break free, and the game always seemed likely to be decided by the player who could manufacture a quick innings of 40 or 50 runs. As it transpired, this player was to be Ben Mann, who hit 52 in about 30 balls with some particularly impressive straight driving. When he had come in at 109 for 4, the prospect of a match winning total had seemed unlikely, notwithstanding the dogged but no less skillful knock of Jason Whiddett who was eventually dismissed for 63. Had Melton not gifted Bungay two of their overs by committing the cardinal sin of not batting out their overs, their final total of 214 would have appeared well above par. As it was, it was well achievable off 47 overs.
The visiting side started steadily but were able to keep the scoreboard buzzing with quick ones and twos to a fielding side which always seemed to struggle to summon up the requisite intensity for the task. Both D Fuller and Ashkin batted shrewdly and provided Bungay with the solid start they required. The task was then taken up by the visiting captain C Fuller, who had earlier bowled a excellent spell of 3-22 from his 9 overs. He hit 59, and whilst he was there the total always looked attainable, notwithstanding some excellent bowling from MacKenzie (1-28). Robb (1-28) and Harris (2-37) provided good support. At 170 for 6 with 8 overs to go, the game was in the balance, when all rounder Richard Waddell returned to take Fuller’s crucial wicket, caught behind. With the tail exposed, the visitors subsided to 185 all out, which gave the result a rather more comfortable gloss than was justified.
Melton face table topping Old Buckenham next week, and will have to play better all round cricket if they are to continue their winning run.