GREAT MELTON C (25 points) beat HINGHAM (8 points) by 63 runs at Hingham in the Norfolk League Division 3W
Whilst the general talk is of players not playing regularly or even leaving the game, leading to sides pulling out of the leagues, and clubs folding, Great Melton continue to defy the odds by not simply turning out 4 teams each Saturday, but producing quality juniors who can help the senior sides win. That is testimony to hard work behind the scenes by a huge team of volunteers, and to the youngsters themselves who are prepared to work equally hard, and to listen to advice. That support allows the senior players to shine, and this game was no exception, as veteran Steve Clarke, in his 47th season of league cricket, scored his 25th half century for Great Melton on his old patch of Hingham. Attacking from the word go, Steve shared good partnerships, and watched carnage at the other end, but remained unruffled, playing shots all round the crease, and almost batting throughout the innings.
The hard uneven surface made for a difficult track of varied bounce and pace. Invited to bat first, Melton set about building a good early partnership as their hosts took the field with only 8 players. Steve Clarke (58) faced the first ball, and hammered it to the boundary. Imaad Khalid (26) shared the opening berth, and between them they put on 78 in 17 overs, to make the fielding side concerned. Eusha Fawad (22) batting at number 4, helped keep the score ticking, as Melton moved to 121 off 25.
5 wickets fell for just 23 runs, with 3 falling for 1 in the space of 2 overs, before Leo de Salis (20) joined the fray in the 35th over with the score on 144. Upping the run rate back to 5 an over, he and Steve Clarke took Melton to 173 before the left hander finally succumbed to fatigue and skied a simple return catch to Danny Key. Leo continued to marshal the tail, adding a further dozen runs, mainly byes, to help Melton post a very competitive 185. There were a half century of extras in the total, as Hingham became slightly ragged, but it was also a sign of Melton’s desire to garner runs from any situation. There were also very good bowling performances from brothers Steve and Sam Guy, who between them took 8-53.
Zef Ishtiaq, playing his first game of the season, and Finlay Hughes shared the new ball after tea. Finlay bowled Dan Key for 4 in the 4th to bring Steve Guy to the crease to partner Travis Butcher, and the pair battered anything loose or short to the boundary as they sought to compile a match winning score.
Fawad replaced Finlay, and saw his first ball summarily dispatched over the rope. Imaad similarly struggled initially, with his first 2 deliveries disappearing across the football field, and Hingham were well on their way at 89 for 1 off 15.
Imaad removed Steve Guy for 28, before Finlay remained calm under a high ball at long on dismiss Butcher for a well crafted 58, containing 3 sixes and 8 fours.
Melton’s ground fielding, especially from the youngsters, was exemplary, as the twin spinners began to turn the screw, and Hingham’s batsmen continued to fall like skittles. The home side went from 97-3 to 122 all out in the 27th over, Fawad taking 5-19 and leg-spinner Imaad 3-35.
S Clarke c & b Key 58, Imaad Khalid b Sam Guy 26, Fin Hughes c Clemence Sam Guy 0, Eusha Fawad b Sam Guy 22, Fawad Kaiser b St Guy 3, K Weston b Sam Guy 6, S Phoenix b St Guy 0
B Greenslade b St Guy 0, L de Salis c Scott b St Guy 20, K W-Loines b Key 0, Z Ishtiaq not out 0, Extras (w 15 / nb 3/ b 28 / lb 4) 50. TOTAL 185 (C Edwards 12-1-48-0, J Edwards 5-1-19-0, Sam Guy 12-1-28-4, Steve Guy 10.5-1-25-4, D Key 5-1-24-2)
D Key b Fin Hughes 4, T Butcher c Fin Hughes b Imaad 58, St Guy b Imaad 28, J Edwards st S Clarke b Fawad 5, Sam Guy c Imaad b Fawad 1, C Edwards b Fawad 1, A Cooper not out 2, N Scott lbw Imaad 7, A Harmer b Fawad 2, D Clemence st S Clarke b Fawad 0, Extras (w 8 / nb 1 / b 5) 14. TOTAL 122 (Z Ishtiaq 6-0-32-0, Fin Hughes 4-0-20-1, Fawad 9-2-19-5, K Weston 1-0-12-0, Imaad 7-0-35-3)