Great Melton C (5pts) lost to Old Buckenham B (25pts) by 8 wickets at Town Close in the Norfolk League Division 3W.
Welcome to the lush green Town Close playing fields on this bright afternoon. The thatched pavilion looking its rustic best in the sunshine. Kassaga, lithe and slingy, takes the new ball, round the wicket to left hander Steve Clarke. The opener whips him off his pads through the wide spaces behind square. The visitors have only 8 players at this stage, the others have either gone to Melton Constable or Melton Park. Left armer Chris Grimwood, over the wicket to a jittery Tony Alborough, who edges a swinging delivery to the third man boundary for four. The right hander is dealing in boundaries here, chipping Grimwood over cover for four more, his fifth in 21. Kassaga is tiring slightly, as Clarke punishes another loose delivery, crashing him through mid wicket to bring up the fifty partnership in 13th over. An excellent start for the hosts.
Jamie Beales to Clarke. A high full toss, summarily despatched into the bushes beyond mid wicket. Becca Cole goes for four more through the off side, as Melton slip into the nineties without loss, and it’s time for drinks.
Steve Clarke nudges one down to third man off Beales and the batsman scamper through for 2 to bring up the 100 partnership. Left arm spin from Simon Newbury, round the wicket to Alborough. He does not enjoy slow bowlers. He misses the ball down the leg side, fails to turn in time and is stumped for 36.
Cole to Dutton, edge to Lund at first slip. A brief stay at the crease on his return to the club. Clarke pushes into the off side and runs through for a well deserved 50. Alex Tonnison, standing tall, hammers Newbury over long off for four. Revenge for Newbury, as Tonnison plays round a straight one. Gristwood, towering over the close fielders, lobs up a simple catch off Cole. 138 for 4. The wheels are starting to come off here.
Clarke pulls Cole to deep backward square, but is caught low to the ground. 66 important runs, but is that the beginning of the end? Kassaga is back. Ellis punches him through cover for four. Kassaga bounds in to de Salis, and makes a mess of his stumps. 147 for 6. Duncan Greenslade bludgeons Newbury through the leg side for four. 150 up. Ellis crouches, the ball rears up from Kassaga, hits him on the arm, and cannons into the base of off stump. 157 for 7. Grimwood to Becky Greenslade, and an easy catch at short mid wicket. Craig Wilson does last long either, as Grimwood follows a bouncer with a Yorker, the classic seam bowler combo. Stu Wilson lifts Grimwood over mid off; a chase to the boundary; it stops just inside the rope for 3. Kassaga finishes off the first half, Stu Wilson caught at the crease. 168 for 10.
Stu Wilson bowling to Sean Robinson. Four over mid wicket. Craig Wilson to Jon Guinness. Four through the covers. Stuart to Guinness, a little slower, he has got under that one. Alborough is there to take his 200th catch for Melton. Celebrations all round. The visitors are 9 for 1. Good reposte. The Wilson brothers start with good lines. Craig to Tuckett, sliced high into the air on the leg side, fielders converge, but the chance is spilled. Stuart to Robinson, clipped up to mid on, Alborough stretches, but misses a relatively easy chance. Craig to Robinson, all bottom hand, and that is going way beyond the running track for 6. 13 off that Junior Wilson over, followed by 9 off Stuart. 50 up for Old Buckenham in the 10th over.
De Salis, who has been prowling in the out field, first ball to Robinson, outside the off stump, sliced high to mid off, and Dutton takes a simple catch. The veteran bowlers needs a big performance today. Oh dear, another ball goes through the fielders hands for four. 13 off that de Salis over, 100 up for the visitors in the 20th over. Stu Wilson to Tuckett, thick slice to point, Grsitwood grasps at thin air and the ball spins sideways down past 3rd man for four. Stu Wilson keeps beating the edge of the bat, but anything hittable is going through the fielders for four. 119 for 2 at drinks, and Old Bucks are in control.
Duncan Greenslade is thrown the ball. Another one hammered away through mid wicket. And another 13 off an over. Genuine edge through the vacant slip region as Newbury picks up four. A cry of anguish from the bowler. De Salis to Tuckett. Defensive chip to mid on, but just over the advancing fielder for four. Tuckett slices de Salis to gully, but just beyond the outstretched hands of Gristwood. De Salis in again to Tuckett, another big slice, this time to point, but the ball lands in front of Alborough. No joy for Melton. A scratchy 50 for Tuckett as the batsmen rush though for a single. Greenslade to Newbury, pulled past leg gully for the third half century of the match, this a composed one. Tuckett unfurls a genuine off drive for four to finish the game.
Great Melton C
S Clarke ct – b Cole 66; A Alborough st Guinness b Newbury 36; J Dutton ct Lund b Newbury 1; A Tonnison b Nwbury 10; C Gristwood c – b Cole 1; L de Salis b Kassaga 3; K Ellisb Kassaga 8; D Greenslade no 11; B Greenslade c – b Grimwood 1; C Wilson b Grimwood 0; S Wilson c – b Kassaga 3. Extras 29 TOTAL 168 (P Kassaga 11.4–3–40–3; C Grimwood 12–2–36 – 2; J Beales 5–1–21–0; B Cole 8–0–37–2; S Robinson 1–0–7–0; S Newbury 7–0–20–3)
Old Buckenham B
S Robinson c Dutton b de Salis 39; J Guinness c Alborough b S Wilson 5; B Tuckett not out 63; S Newbury not out 53 extras 9 170-2. (S Wilson 12-0–52–1; C Wilson 6–1–33–0; L de Salis 10.4–1–53–1; D Greenslade 5–0–28–0)