Great Melton (21) beat Narborough (6) by 73 runs in the Mid-Norfolk League Boyle Division 1.
Great Melton travelled to Narborough hoping to beat the weather to get some cricket in as all four sides were washed out on a pretty grim afternoon in June!!
Things didn’t start well as waiting at Melton Park to travel in convoy the usually reliable Alex Pattison failed to show, only to find out later he had been hospitalised!!
Leaving late skipper Hales decided to phone ahead to the ground to advise the opposition of the situation to find that 1 Melton player had already arrived at the ground so entrusted the toss to the individual in question, SAM MANN!!!
In truth that was never an issue as arriving at Narborough the drizzle had set in with both captains agreeing to wait until it had stopped then review the situation. Once the rained had ceased both captains agreed to reduce the game to a 35 over a-side game.
Winning the toss Melton decided to bat first and got off to the worst possible start as opener George Bunn left one that pitched outside his off stump only to jag back dramatically to take his off stump first ball of the innings, “the ball of the century” it was hailed by the disappointed Bunn, most others said he left a straight one!!
Joey Greenslade then joined Matt Clarke at the crease looking to get some valuable time in the middle and score a few runs hoping to build the innings and gain some momentum to his own season.
The scoreboard ticked over at a good rate with both batsmen picking up plenty of twos as the rain had somewhat soften the outfield and most things plugged instead of running nicely to the boundary.
The partnership had reached 80 when Clarke mistimed a sweep to the boundary being well caught for 44. Greenslade impressed with excellent timing on his way to a well-made half century, together with Lee Whiddett (27) who sensibly gave Greenslade the strike picking up plenty of singles albeit with the occasional bit of confusion before Greenslade was caught for 70, then later Sam Mann (14) and Skipper Hales (27*).
The Melton innings finally ending on 196-5 from their 35 overs.
Narborough’s innings started in the same vain as their opponents as in the first over opener J. Coe was caught well by the returning Jesse Payne-Wilkins, having not played for Melton since his Junior appearances for the club in the early 2000’s, off the bowling of Stuart Wilson.
Wilson soon got his second wicket of the innings as he bowled R. Jackson for 1 to leave the hosts on 16-2 after 5 overs. This brought the big hitting N. King to the wicket.
The two Narborough batsmen then set about rebuilding the innings picking up singles with Melton only having 10 players and punishing any bad ball bowled. Skipper Hales then missed the ball blasted at him with his hands only for it to smash into his ankle so the visitors found themselves temporarily down to 9 men.
King and J. Grass (65) found they were scoring with ease due to the lack of fielders so stand in skipper combination of Neal Clarke, Matt Clarke, Lee Whiddett and George Bunn decided to ring the changes to try and get a breakthrough.
Deciding to take the pace off the ball Bunn came on at one end and Neal Clarke at the other. Initially it was working as the first 2 overs went only for a few singles and a 2 but then King decided to take it to the bowlers.
First taking 8 of Bunn’s second over then off the first 2 balls of Clarke’s second over he hit 2 fours before Clarke then composed himself whilst drying the ball and making the batsmen wait just a bit longer before the next ball and the outcome was what Melton needed.
Clarke’s next ball was slightly more tossed up outside the off stump and just turning marginally King tried to repeat the dose attempting to slog Clarke to the boundary only to get a little inside edge onto his own stumps which received jubilant cheers from the Melton Fielders knowing that it was a massive wicket in the context of the game with the score on 98-3 off 16 overs.
Bunn then picked up his first wickets of the game getting 2 in 2 balls to leave the hosts plenty to do on 105-5 and only two overs later Clarke had Grass well caught on the boundary by brother Matt Clarke to leave the Narborough needing 81 off the remaining 14 overs with just 4 wickets left.
Bunn was then replaced by Matt Clarke meaning a career first of himself and brother Neal bowling in tandem (hopefully not to be seen again!!) and finishing the innings off as the inexperience of the Narborough tail end showing as the last 4 wickets fell for just 8 runs to leave the hosts 73 runs short of their target.
Cricket was the real winner as credit must go to the Narborough Groundsman and both captains willingness to get the game on with a lot of bad weather about it would have been easy to call it off early.
Great Melton Innings.
G. Bunn b. King 0, M. Clarke ct S. Reynolds b. Fox 44, J. Greenslade ct S. Reynolds b. Eaves 70, L. Whiddett Run Out 27, S. Mann b. Still 14, T. Hales 27*, N. Clarke 2* TOTAL 196-5 (12 Extras). B. King 6-0-31-1, O. Reynolds 7-0-31-0, S. Reynolds 4-0-17-0, J. Grass 7-0-50-0, T. Fox 5-1-23-1, J. Eaves 3-0-24-1, M. Still 3-0-12-1
J. Coe ct Payne-Wilkins b. Wilson 0, J. Grass ct M. Clarke b. N. Clarke 65, R. Jackson b. Wilson 1, N. King b. N. Clarke 43, J. Eaves b. Bunn 0, S. Reynolds st. Greenslade b. Bunn 0, O. Reynolds ct Mann b. N. Clarke 7, B. King b. M. Clarke 0, S. King b. M. Clarke 1, T. Fox 0*, M. Still ct Payne-Wilkins b. M. Clarke 0. TOTAL 123 all out (6 Extras). S. Wilson 6-0-28-2, K. Mason 6-0-40-0, G. Bunn 6-0-27-2, N. Clarke 7-2-22-3, M. Clarke 2.2-0-2-3, S. Mann 1-0-1-0.