GREAT MELTON (22 points) beat SWAFFHAM (7 points) by 1 wicket at Melton Park in the Alliance Division 3
It was one of those days when neither team seemed inclined to win the game. Were it not for a true skipper’s innings from Ollie Harris, Melton would have achieved their ambition. It was enough to save blushes, but there will be one or two of the top order batsman from both sides pondering their decision making.
Harris won yet another toss on what started out as a glorious summer’s day. Swaffham started similarly brightly with opener Eagle playing some beautifully timed shots mainly straight and through extra cover. However, the clouds began to gather both actually and metaphorically for the visitors, and things began to go wrong as a succession of batsman got in and then promptly got out. Prime culprits were number 3, Payne, who managed to run himself out when looking well set (he was not to be the last to offend in this way in the game), and his brother, coming in at 5, who played a number of ominously aggressive shots only to then whole out at deep mid wicket off the bowling of Moye.
It was left to Brockman-Smith for Swaffham to co-ordinate a late order consolidation and steer his side to a total of 164 in the steady drizzle, which always seemed 50 runs short of a competitive total. The best bowlers were Moye (3-36) and Rennie (1-19) , who deceive a number of batsman with their turn and flight. Skipper Harris, also bowled extremely tight lines throughout his spell, to finish with figures of 1-27 from his 9 overs.
Melton’s response started relatively solidly, getting to 39-1 from the first dozen overs. However, matters rapidly deteriorated with Wood starting the slide with a fatally laboured ‘quick’ single. When the home side found themselves at 83 for 6, only the most stoic were predicting a positive outcome for Melton. However, the doomsayers had not bargained on a shrewd knock from Harris who played a number of glorious straight drives to edge Melton closer to victory. When he fell, it was eventually left to a combination of Hayward, and the spin ‘twins’ Moye and Rennie to cajole the scoreboard to the 165 required.
This may well turn out to be a highly significant if somewhat fraught victory, with so many other fixtures abandoned due to the rain, leaving Melton well clear at the top of Division 3.
Mark Eagle* lbw b Alex Rennie 43; Phillip Balls lbw b Tom Grant 8; Jasper Payne run out (Matthew Clarke) 15; Chris Upton st Richard Wood b Tom Moye 15; Alexander Payne ct Joe Greenslade b Tom Moye 14; Ben Mills ct Alex Rennie b Tom Moye 9; Tom Puckey b Oliver Harris 6; Matthew Brockman-Smith run out (Tom Moye) 28; David Annakin st Richard Wood b Ryan Hayward 12; Andy Dale† not out 4; Jack Coggles not out 0; Extras b (5), lb (2), w (3) 10. Total 164-9 (Tom Grant 9-2-38-1; Ryan Hayward 7-0-32-1; Oliver Harris 9-0-27-1; Alex Rennie 9-3-19-1; Tom Moye 9-0-36-3; Paul Stearman 2-0-5-0)
Jason Whiddett ct Matthew Brockman-Smith b Jasper Payne 34; Matthew Clarke lbw b Matthew Brockman-Smith 1; Richard Wood† run out (Ben Mills) 13; David Adams ct Andy Dale b Mark Eagle 4; Joe Greenslade ct Ben Mills b Mark Eagle 0; Paul Stearman st Andy Dale b Jack Coggles 29; Tom Grant b Mark Eagle 0; Oliver Harris* ct Tom Puckey b David Anakin 38; Ryan Hayward b David Anakin 14; Alex Rennie not out 12; Tom Moye not out 0; Extras b (3), lb (6), w (13) 22. Total 167-9 (Matthew Brockman-Smith 6-1-21-1; Jasper Payne 9-1-44-1; Mark Eagle 9-3-29-3; Jack Coggles 4-0-23-1; David Anakin 8-2-20-2; Tom Pucker 3.2-0-21-0)