Great Melton 1st XI kicked off the league season, entertaining their historical nemeses, Saham Toney. At the toss, an undecided Richard Waddell was not disappointed to see the coin come down in favour of his opposite number who gave Melton first use on a pitch tinged with green.
Melton’s innings did not begin well, with the usually prolific Woods falling for 1. This brought Cook to the crease and with the steadying influence of Whiddett, proceeded to produce an inning of maturity punctuated with some fine boundaries, the pair creating a partnership of 67 before Cook was smartly caught in the gully off the bowling of Dyer, 3 short of his half century. This brought Greenslade to the wicket and he immediately settled in, looking to build an innings of note. He and Whiddett put on 32 before Whiddett guided Dyer to third man, dismissed for a patient 33. With the score on 104 for 3 at roughly the halfway point a score of over 200 seemed eminently achievable, unfortunately the wheel of Boethius revolved again and the promise of a daunting total seemingly crushed under it’s spokes as regular wickets fell with Clarke run out for 0, Greenslade bowled for 29, Cooper bowled for 12, Pask LBW for 10 and Waddell LBW first ball. When Harris was stumped for 1, Melton were looking at a total less than 150. Sims managed to see out the remaining overs with youngster Joe Bickel showing maturity and a straight bat in the face of some searching bowling and pressure from the close in fielders. Melton finished their innings in the last over when Sims was caught on the boundary with the score on 171, Saham Toney requiring an achievable 172 to once again come out on top.
Great Melton took the field after tea in the knowledge that their grip on the match was tenuous and that early wickets were required. Greenslade and Pask began well bowling at a decent pace, Greenslade taking the wicket of Joachim and Newton in his opening spell. Harris replaced Greenslade at the top end and Waddell replaced Pask, but Wood and McGeorge were putting together a match-winning partnership before Wood was bowled by Harris, dragging it on for a workmanlike 33. Sims replaced the luckless Waddell and eventually removed McGeorge for an unorthodox 59. Even with 4 wickets down, at this point the away side only needed another 22 runs to win. After 4 overs from Cooper, Waddell brought back his 2 openers for the final throw of the dice and the wheel turned again.
In a fantastic spell of fast-medium bowling Chris Greenslade destroyed Saham Toney’s remaining batsmen, ably assisted by some hostile bowling from Kieran Pask, giving them no scoring options. Greenslade bowled with pace, intelligence and maturity, maintaining a good line on off stump allowing the pressure to get to the opposition batsmen, who, to a man, succumbed, Great Melton snatching victory from the very jaws of defeat by 4 runs. Greenslade’s fine second spell concluded with an admirable 6 wickets for 9 runs.
Special mention should also go to Richard Wood and Partner for providing a truly magnificent tea full of diverse delicacies!!
Great Melton – 171 All Out
(Cook 47, Whiddett 33, Mower 3-45, Sims (P) 3-40)