Great Melton A (18 Points) secured a winning draw against Narborough (9) at Narborough in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
Great Melton A headed to Narborough in good spirits as they looked to maintain a fine run of form.
For the 5th consecutive game they were inserted into bat on what was a green looking surface but Jason Whiddett (30) and Martin Bunn (23) provided an excellent platform of 50-0 from 12 overs with Whiddett scoring heavily through backward point and Bunn continuing his recent improvement with a positive knock that was ended when he was bowled by home skipper Steeles.
George Bunn joined Whiddett and soon after the in-form opener nicked one to the keeper. Martyn Cook produced a breezy innings of 13 before being bowled by Steeles and then skipper Lee Whiddett followed in the same way to leave the score 118-4 from 26 overs. Wickets had fallen regularly but with all batsmen playing positively and Bunn, in particular, looking in fine touch, the scoreboard kept ticking over.
Simon Wooldridge (8) joined Bunn and they added another 41 runs in quick time and then Paul Movel (22) produced another cameo innings before Bunn was dismissed for an excellent 69 including 11 fours and a six, his first Alliance half-century.
As Movel took the score past 200, keeper Simon Woods was injured as he dived to make his ground and Narborough managed to take the final wickets to dismiss Melton for a fine score of 220 All Out.
Melton were left to field with just 10 men due to Woods’ injury but the Narborough response got off to a poor start as Michael Farmer, despite struggling with his line, removed opener King for a duck as he was snaffled by Cook at point. Adam Thompson went for only 4 runs in his first 6 overs to check the home side’s progress to 27-1 from 10 overs.
Oliver Harris then came on and bowled opener J Coe (3) and then N King was superbly run out by Thompson as he deflected a drive from Crisp onto the stumps with the non-striker out of his ground, the score 32-3 from 13 overs.
Melton continued to turn the screw as Thompson and Harris offered little to encourage the batsmen. Crisp (34) and Hill (26) dug in well and added 56 for the 4th wicket before Hill was run out due to another fine piece of fielding by stand-in wicket-keeper Jason Whiddett, who effected a direct hit run out whilst still wearing his keeping glove.
Melton’s chances of victory were then boosted as, after a subdued first 3 overs, Paul Movel came to the fore. He had the obdurate Crisp caught and bowled and then removed Williamson (20) thanks to another catch from Cook and then he castled the dangerous D King for 18. By that time, Narborough looked to have given up the chase, standing on 140-7 from 37 overs.
Thompson came back on but could not find the breakthrough but recorded fine figures 12-4-26-0 as he swung the ball throughout his spell. Movel then had Hammond caught at short mid-wicket by Harris as Melton surrounded the bat, completing another superb spell of 4-48.
With 5 overs left skipper Whiddett brought himself and leg-spinner George Bunn on to try to tease the batsmen into an injudicious stroke but skipper Steeles looked to dig in for the draw. Whiddett had J Crisp caught behind leaving Melton with 1 wicket needed for victory and still 3 overs remaining. But although Bunn (3-1-9-0) beat the bat and turned the ball appreciably, Steeles (19 Not Out) and No.11 Grass saw out the remaining balls to deny Melton victory, but still giving them a healthy haul of 18 points.
Other results did not favour Melton A but they remain right in the promotion hunt, with a trip to Thetford in two weeks looking crucial.
Great Melton A:
J Whiddett c N King b Crisp 30
M Bunn b Steeles 23
G Bunn c Hill b Grass 69
M Cook b Steeles 13
L Whiddett b Steeles 4
S Wooldridge c S King b Hammond 8
O Harris c & b Grass 6
P Movel Run Out (D King) 22
S Woods b King 7
M Farmer Not Out 4
A Thompson b King 0
Extras 34 (7w, 5nb, 13b, 9lb)
Total (All Out, 45.5 Overs) 220
T Grass 12-0-47-2, D King 9.5-1-39-2, M Steeles 11-3-50-3, J Crisp 8-1-41-1, M Hammond 5-1-21-1
J Coe b Harris 3
S King c Cook b Farmer 0
P Crisp c & b Movel 34
N King Run Out (Thompson) 0
C Hill Run Out (J Whiddett) 26
A Williamson c Cook b Movel 20
D King b Movel 18
M Steeles Not Out 19
M Hammond c Harris b Movel 0
J Crisp c J Whiddett b L Whiddett 1
T Grass Not Out 0
Extras 41 (30w, 9b, 2lb)
Total (9 Wickets, 46 Overs) 162
A Thompson 12-4-26-0, M Farmer 5-1-22-1, O Harris 12-1-45-1, P Movel 12-3-48-4, G Bunn 3-1-9-0, L Whiddett 2-1-1-1