Great Melton (10) lost to Norwich (17) by 90 runs in the Mid-Norfolk League Shield Premier division.
Great Melton hosted Norwich on Sunday still searching for their first win back in the Premier Division going into their fifth game of the season.
Winning the toss George Bunn elected to field first, with strength in the batting department, hoping to restrict the visitors to a gettable total. Due to the lack of seam bowling options Bunn opened up with usual top order batsmen Martyn Cook and the rusty Navin Sharma only back from university a week ago.
Things started well for the hosts, restricting Norwich to just 4 an over for the first 5 overs with Cook going for just 10 runs off his first 5 overs, perhaps aided by some generous umpiring, and taking the wicket of Olly Sutton for 11.
At the other end runs were starting to flow for Norwich with Sharma being a little wayward in line and length, Bunn turned to his change bowlers in Neal Clarke and Michael Farmer. Unfortunately Farmer only lasted 1 over before succumbing to injury but Clarke found some rhythm and with the score on 101-1 he struck forcing L. Sexton to top edge a sweep straight to Lee Whiddett who even had time to remove his cap before taking the catch!
That was the end of the celebrations for Melton for some time as Frankie Sutton was joined by his father, ex Norwich, Chelsea and Celtic footballer, Chris Sutton.
The two showed their class despatching any loose deliveries to the boundary as well as some of the good ones! Not one of the Melton bowlers had an answer to either Suttons superiority as it seemed the harder they tried the further the ball went. Once again Bunn chopped and changed his bowlers desperately trying to break the partnership, Bunn himself (0-30), Jonathan Ellse (0-28) and Joe Bickel (0-82) were without any luck.
The skipper used his last throw of the dice in turning to Lee Whiddett and got the luck his side needed. Whiddett with his awkward pace and unusual grunts came up trumps for his captain taking 4 wickets in 3 overs removing both F. Sutton (127) and C. Sutton (91), after the father and son pairing had put on 158 for the third wicket, also dismissing B. Spratling (0) and opposition skipper Aaron Watson (7).
Unfortunately the damage had already been done as Norwich amassed a huge total for the home side to chase needing 298 to win.
The hosts innings started well with Matt Clarke and the inform George Ducker getting up with the run rate set by Norwich in their innings. With Boundaries coming early in the innings Melton looked up for the challenge of chasing down the massive total but just as it was going well Ducker was bowled by S. Riaz for 13.
Clarke was joined by Jonathan Ellse at the crease and he carried on where Ducker left off rotating the strike and punishing the bad ball. At the halfway point in the innings Melton were only 5 runs behind where Norwich were at the same point in their innings, better off by one wicket. Clarke continued to show the form he is capable of, driving, cutting and pulling well ably supported by Ellse, who himself started to look comfortable.
Clarke passed 50 and so did the partnership, but the run rate started to increase due to the acceleration shown by the visitors in the middle of their innings. Ellse then passed his maiden half century for the club in just his second appearance but unfortunately 11 runs later he mistimed a shot falling for 61 and the partnership ended on 129.
By now the game had gone and it was just a case of trying to get above 200 to claim maximum batting points and to see if Clarke could get to his 8th century for the club but he was starved of the strike as S. Wooldridge tried to keep the board ticking. With 4 overs left Clarke started to manipulate the ball to keep the strike but at the end of the 37th over, turning for a second he was comfortably run out for an excellent 83.
It was then left to Wooldridge (26*) and Farmer (1*) to get the hosts to 200+ to claim the batting points of which they did as the innings ended on 207-3.
All in all it was a good team performance but the opposition were just that little bit better, If Melton play as they did as a team for the rest of the season they will win more games than they lose.
F. Sutton ct Sharma b. Whiddett 127, O. Sutton ct Bickel b. Cook 11, L. Sexton ct Whiddett b. Clarke 27, C. Sutton ct Wooldridge b. Whiddett 91, B. Spratling b. Whiddett 0, A. Watson b. Whiddett 7, S. Riaz Run Out 8, J. Marsh ct&b. Cook 2, E. Murgatroyd 1*, C. Whurr 0*. TOTAL 297-8 (23 Extras). M. Cook 12-2-33-2, N. Sharma 5-0-45-0, N. Clarke 7-0-50-1, M. Farmer 1-0-5-0, J. Bickel 9-0-82-0, G. Bunn 2-0-30-0, J. Ellse 2-0-28-0, L. Whiddett 4-0-12-4.
Great Melton Innings.
M. Clarke Run Out 83, G. Ducker b. Riaz 13, J. Ellse ct Sexton b. Marsh 61, S. Wooldridge 26*, M. Farmer 1*. TOTAL 207-3 (23 Extras). S. Riaz 6-2-23-1, E. Murgatroyd 5-0-30-0, C. Whurr 4-0-24-0, O. Sutton 7-1-32-0, L. Sexton 6-0-32-0, J. Marsh 7-1-40-1, F. Sutton 4-014-0, C. Sutton 1-0-2-0.