Another strong performance by Great Melton moved them up to fifth place in division 2 after an excellent game of cricket against Fakenham “A” in which 424 were runs scored and 14 wickets fell, but it was the home team that shaded the contest taking 14 points to Great Melton’s 12.
Melton won the toss and elected to field. Mark Scott made an early breakthrough trapping Dungar lbw, but Whitwood (57) and Yarham (32) built a partnership of 91 to lay a solid foundation for a decent total. On a fine wicket with a fast outfield spin bowlers Cooper and Sims but the brakes on the scoring and each were rewarded with a wicket – Sims trapped Whitwood lbw and Cooper removed Yarham, but Blakiston (37) kept the momentum with the batting side playing some handsome drives and sweeps before he was caught behind to become the first of Daryl Godbold’s 3 wickets in a 5 over burst that kept Melton very much in the game. Decent knocks however from young Futter (14), Hunt (24) and Marshall (6n.o) saw Fakenham gain maximum batting points and posted 215 for 7; Godbold recorded 3 for 22 and there were 2 wickets for Cooper and 1 piece for Scott and Sims.
In reply Melton laboured and there was just 1 scoring shot in the first 9 overs. Jason Whiddett (4) was the first to go as he sliced the ball to gully and when Cooper fell for a duck, Melton were 10 for 2. Dave Allum battled hard but was adjudged lbw for 11 and so after 19 overs Melton were 56 for 3 and very much behind the required run rate. A partnership of 55 between in form pair Richard Wood and Marcus Godbold (30) gave Melton hope of chasing the total – Godbold hit four boundaries before he nicked a defensive shot and was caught at the wicket. Wood looked in no difficulty but with little time left in the game an agressive innings was required to compliment Wood’s solidity and stroke play, and in Richard Waddell Melton had their man. With Fakenham fielders posted on the boundary in defence, Waddell set up about the bowling cracking three 4’s and two 6’s as he raced to 47 from just 32 balls but just as Melton started to look favourites, he was run out by a direct hit from the deep. Reaching 90% was well within Melton’s reach but neither Scott (6) or Wood could find the boundaries needed for victory and so Melton came up just 7 runs shy. Wood finished 85 not out – it was yet another excellent innings from the wicketkeeper batsman who whilst finding the fence 8 times, ran nine 2’s and three 3’s, which after having kept wicket for 46 overs is testament to his fitness.
After an improved run of results, Melton are just 19 points off third place with 2 games left this season.
B Whitwood lbw b Sims 57, P Dunger lbw b Scott 3, N Yarham ct Sims b Cooper 32, H Blakiston ct Wood b D Godbold 37, C Crane b D Godbold 21, H Futter ct Whiddett b Cooper 14, S Hunt stumped Wood b D Godbold 24, L Marshal not out 6, J Clarke not out 1. Extras 20. Total 215 for 7. (R Waddell 6-2-17-0, M Scott 7-0-33-1, N Gristwood 6-0-32-0, R Sims 11-3-47-1, A Cooper 11-0-61-2, D Godbold 5-0-22-3)
A Cooper ct b Clarke 0, J Whiddett ct b Clarke 4, D Allum lbw b Hood 11, R Wood not out 85, M Godbold ct Hunt b Marshall 30, M Cook b Futter 1, R Waddell run out 47, M Scott b Marshall 6, Do Godbold not out 0. Extras 25. Total 209 for 7. (Marshall 12-3-44-2, Hood 9-1-39-1, Clarke 12-5-30-2, Futter 6-0-31-1, Crane 5-0-41-0, Unknown 2-0-15-0)