Senior Round-Up – Saturday 29th June

The runs flowed last weekend and there were centuries for Ben Mann and Jonathan Ellse but, disappointingly, both finished on the losing side as Great Melton A were the only one of Melton’s four sides to enjoy victory.  The First Team lost their unbeaten record to their nearest challengers Bradenham who proved just too good on the day at Melton Park, chasing down 261-6 to win by 5 wickets. On a scorching day, skipper Richard Waddell opted to bat first and opener Ben Mann took up the challenge with relish. He was characteristically vicious on anything dropped short as he pulled and drove off the back foot with great style. He was out for 130 in the 30th over to leave the home side well set.

The finishing total of 261 was perhaps a little short of what had been expected but it still represented a stiff challenge for second place Bradenham. However, Will Dewing in particular made a difficult run chase look very straightforward. In its own way, his 102 not out was just as eye catching as Mann’s effort. He was strong through and over mid wicket and punished Melton’s attack which erred on the side of being too full on occasions. Aslam Mohammed (9-1-40-2) took two early wickets but Rob Ellis made 60 before Dewing, helped by Alex Bates (30 not out), comfortably saw Bradenham home with 5 wickets and 3 overs to spare. Although defeated Melton still remain top of Alliance Division 3 at the half-way stage of the season.

Great Melton A produced their best all-round performance of the season at Sprowston to win by 7 wickets.  Spinners Rob Sims (9-3-17-4) and Joe Bickel (9-1-24-2) took six wickets between them as Sprowston were restricted to 164-9 but Kyle Mason (0-35), Matt Henderson (2-40) and Caitlin Ellis (1-36) all bowled good 9-over spells.  Jason Whiddett then hit 80 not out with Lee Whiddett chipping in with 19, Ryan Hayward 19 and Henderson 30 not out as Melton won in the 42nd over.

The B Teams’ batting woes continued at Halvergate where they slumped to 12-5 before Eusha Fawad (30), Flynn Crosthwaite (10) and Fawad Kaiser (19) got them up to 91 a total Halvergate eclipsed in the 26th over for the loss of 2 wickets, Ross Sanders scoring 58 not out.  All the bowlers did well with the veteran Leo Desalis (6-3-18-2) again the pick but it was the same old story – not enough runs on the board.

The C’s were again scraping around for players but the Norfolk League’s loan system came to the rescue with Alex Baker and Martin Alcock drafted in from Colney and Old Catton respectively.  A first win of the season looked on the cards as Jonathan Ellse and skipper Steve Phoenix put together an opening partnership of 177 against Hethersett & Tas Valley C at Town Close.  Ellse rode his luck a bit but played some superb shots as he went on to score 124, his second ton of the season, while the Chairman was content to play the supporting role hitting 55.  Once the opening partnership was broken, though, things went downhill fast.  No other batsman scored more than 4 as Melton struggled to 208-7, Al Watts picking up 4-22 from his 9 overs and Will Worley 2-31.  In reply Martin Woodruff and John Street then put together another century opening stand that was eventually broken when Street was bowled by Alcock for 40.  Melton’s U11 Team Manager then went on to take 4-28 from his 10 overs as Tas wickets kept falling.  However, Melton were left to rue a series of dropped catches.  Phillips went on to complete his century as a terrific game eventually ended at 8.20 p.m. in the final over when youngster, Ollie Harvey, hit the winning four to give Tas a 3-wicket win.