NORTH ELMHAM (25pts) beat GREAT MELTON C (3 pts) by 164 runs at Great Elmham in the Norfolk League Division 3W
After match discussions so often involve the words ‘If’ and ‘maybe’. This match was perhaps no different as de Salis failed to hang on to a crisp return catch from Whitwood off the first ball. He went on to bludgeon his way past a half century before Steve Phoenix finally clung onto a catch to dismiss him for 88 with the score on 144 in the 30th over. Luke Richards the fortunate bowler.
At the other end, Ollie Hall was compiling a well crafted score of his own, though he did offer up half a dozen chances which Melton were unable to hang on to. Batting throughout the innings, and plundering 13 off the last over of the innings, he amassed 118*as Elmham went on to score 268-3. He would have to share the man of the match accolade, though, as B. Hunt took 5 wickets for just 8 runs off his 12 overs.
Melton’s bowlers, apart from the usually reliable de Salis, bowled good probing lines and lengths, with Kyle Weston picking up the wicket of J White for 10, giving Saxon Earley his first senior scalp as wicket keeper. That was doubled as Leo finally got one in the right place to touch the edge of E Maule’s bat. Saxon conceded only 2 byes in the 45 overs in a very promising debut for the talented prospect.
Melton’s reply started in ignominious fashion as Imaad cut to gully’s safe hands in the second over. Fawad then drove back to Hunt and was caught. Saxon was dismissed at the wicket with 27 on the board, and Dave Bunn went one run later having made 13. Kyle was the fifth wicket to drop, with just 31 scored.
Having a net and gathering any points possible was now the simple aim. Luke and Leo put together a 23 run partnership, with the youngster driving well to the cover and mid off fielders. His senior partner walked after scoring 13, having feathered a catch to Peter Hunt behind the stumps, though no-one appealed. Sam Carding played two dot balls before despatching the third over the ropes for a ‘Filntoff’, and followed that up with a boundary. He then offered a simple return catch off the fifth ball. Steve Phoenix, suffering from an ‘oh my goodness’ lump on the shin, pulled his first ball for a ‘Gower’, but was out two balls later.
Though Craig Wilson only contributed four singles, his partnership with Luke Richards (37*) was a very valuable 36, helping the visitors to avoid a 200 run defeat, pick up a second batting point and pass the 100 mark in the process. Melton finished on 104-9 and Luke batted for 30 overs, and did not offer a single chance. He was patient and concentrated faultlessly throughout for a very mature display. More however was needed from the rest to compete on a level playing field.
Perhaps, after all, this was not a game of if’s and maybes.