Hospital Services  beat Great Melton by 5 wickets at the Doug Baker Ground on Sunday 7th Aug 2011

This week we played host to Great Melton CC a touring team from Norfolk. Just after 2 p.m. the GMCC coach pulled up outside the DBG, though quite why they actually needed a coach was questionable? No fewer than 20 superhero’s stood stretching in the sunshine – surely they could have just flown here from Norfolk??? Without my “Observer’s Book of Superhero’s” I couldn’t identify all of them, but Superman, Captain America, Thunderbird’s, Buzz Lightyear and my own personal favourite, Wonder Woman, were all represented. Though to be fair, Wonder Woman isn’t quite the looker she once was!

In the absence of suitable phone boxes for their superhero clothes change, the GMCC lads sampled the luxurious changing facilities of the HSCC clubhouse. Back in civilian clothes half the touring party went to locate the beer fridges, while the other half took to the field against this week’s selection of Purplie’s. Unheard of in recent weeks, the originally selected HSCC team was on parade. Not a single drop out this week – just as well because we had very few reserve options. Winning the toss for once we elected to bowl first against the unknown quantity that was GMCC touring side. GMCC is a big well established club with several Saturday sides and a large junior section. Their first XI play decent standard cricket and currently top their league, their touring party was a mixed ability group drawn from across the wide range of adult player at the club. Question was exactly what mix of talent was in the side today? and exactly which of their super powers would they employ during the game!

With the Widdett brothers opening the batting, Tony Jacobs assumed his normal place leading the HSCC attack with accustomed frugality. At the Forest end Richard Day also began in normal accurate style too, and was unlucky in beating the bat several times and having 3 edges fly between/over the slips and gully. Tony too was unlucky when a leading edge fell between square leg and midwicket, who narrowly avoided a head on collision attempting the catch. Richard’s initial 4 over burst ended with no wicket for 20, replaced by Simon Crowther who immediately continued the miserly bowling theme. Both Widdett’s were then dismissed in successive overs, Richard claiming a catch from Simon’s 2nd over and Tony getting the umpires nod to an lbw appeal. Starting and finishing with a maiden, Tony’s figures of 7-2-15-1 were excellent, leaving GMCC 39-2 from 13 overs.

With GMCC skipper Marcus Godbold and tour organiser Chris Elliott coming to the wicket, and with encouragement from the crowd, GMCC looked to increase the scoring rate. Skipper Godbold struck a number of boundaries in the leg side off the slower bowling of Crowther and then Mike Kay, while runs were harder to come from the pace of Dan Murray – who was probably unlucky not to have GMCC skipper caught from a miscue at mid off. A partnership of 65 came from just 9 overs, until with the field spread, Dan Murray took a great running catch at midwicket to dismiss the opposition skipper for 46. Mike Kay’s next ball was a full swinging ball that accounted for GMCC No.5 Moxon – the hat trick ball was sadly not so accurate. With John Williams recovered from injury and into the fray at the pavilion end Elliott clipped the ball for four through square leg – well right up to the point where Darren Wilson clutched a good catch into his midriff. 3 wickets falling for 4 runs, GMCC 109-5 in 24 overs.

With just 11 overs to go GMCC went in search of a competitive total by playing some sensible tip and run cricket through Devlin and M Clarke. HSCC tried to stem the flow of runs, not conceding a single boundary in those final overs. Stopping the singles was more difficult and some run out chances went begging with inaccurate throws from various area’s of the field. However, good straight full bowling from Darren Wilson claimed a wicket, and first Murray and Mercer, the Williams and Mercer combined for runout’s. The GMCC innings came to a close on 163-8 at 35 overs, generally a very decent bowling and fielding performance from the home team to leave a gettable target? There were many outstanding throws from the deep and it was good not to see any fielding with the boot rather than the hand.
Final bowling figures: Jacobs 7-2-15-1, Day 7-0-32-0, Crowther 5-0-22-1, Murray 6-0-28-0, Kay 4-0-35-2, Williams 3-0-11-1, Wilson 3-0-11-1

Many thanks to Kate Crowther for her usual array of wonderful home baking, the GMCC chairman in keeping with the friendly nature of our visitors, generously offering a vote of thanks for tea.
With the HSCC batting line up missing some of its regular stars, much would depend on the opening partnership of Wije and Simon – and they certainly didn’t let us down. The GMCC bowling was steady without being spectacular and boundaries were hard to come by, but with the aid of a few wides and some “exciting” running the score ticked along nicely at just under 5 an over, but crucially over the required rate of about 4.7. GMCC rang the bowling changes and began to liven up in the field, Simon continued to dive in to avoid being run out as the batters lived dangerously with their running between the wickets. In the 22nd over Wije and Simon reached an excellent century opening partnership, setting up the run chase perfectly. The partnership finally ended on 116 when Simon got a lost patience and miscued a pull to be caught for 46. Wickets are like London buses – you wait ages for one and then 2 come along together. Sadly for Andy Purbrick he was that second wicket, run out by a poorly judged single from WIje. Full credit to Andy for selflessly responding to a suicidal call, sacrificing his wicket (without facing a ball) to ensure Wije, the batsman who was “in”, didn’t lose his wicket. Really great team ethic Andy, I take my hat off to you sir!

Tom Dudding came to the wicket having had another very good day in the field. Tom started with a beautiful clip off his toes for 4, but sadly became the second run out victim from another tight single, run out by a direct hit, though Tom (5) swore he had made his ground. Enter yours truly with the score on 122-3 and 9 overs remaining, all it needed was cool heads and measured batting from the skip and vice skip – certainly no more run outs or wickets thrown away. Almost immediately the hat trick of runouts was on the cards when Wije the ball straight to a close fielder and ran, had the throw been anything like accurate Steve would have been out barely halfway down the track. Fortunately the throw cleared the keeper and Steve was able to complete the run and offer Wije a big “double teapot”! With Wije passing his fifty, the skipper suggested he bat through the innings and let the skip try and pick up some quick runs. A couple of Mercer boundaries later, Wije tried to hit over the top and was caught at midwicket. Great to see WIje back in good form with an excellent 57 which earned him the man of the match award – but some of the running was less than assured!!

144-4 and enter John William’s with 20 required from 5 overs – simple enough! GMCC’s Devilin then produced a jaffa to bowl Mercer (15), and at the end of the over 19 were required from 24 balls. As the bowling and fielding became more intense and GMCC sensed the possibility of snatching a win from the jaws of defeat, Mike Kay and John WIlliams batted with great sense, and 4 byes eased the pressure further. Then with 7 balls left John lifted the ball straight down the ground for four, John 9* and Mike 6* seeing us home to 164-5 with an over to spare.

This was an excellent close game of cricket, played in a friendly competitive spirit against a seriously nice bunch of guys from GMCC. After the game HSCC were presented with a fine engraved shield by Great Melton, who had also generously donated the match ball for the day. We wish Great Melton the best for their mini-tour, and would certainly welcome them back the DBG if they ever find themselves heading back to this area again.

Great Melton

J.Whiddett c.Day b.Crowther 20, L.Whiddett lbw Jacobs 18, M.Godbold c.Murray b.Kay 46, C.Elliott c.Wilson b.Williams 17, J.Moxon b.Williams 0, N.Devlin Run Out 15, M.Clarke Not Out 18, N.Clarke b.Wilson 1, J.Mardell Run Out 5, R.Hayward Not Out 9, Extras 14 TOTAL (8 wickets) 163 (Jacobs 7-2-15-1, Day 7-0-30-0, Crowther 5-0-22-1, Murray 6-0-28-0, Kay 4-0-35-2, Williams 3-0-11-1, Wilson 3-0-11-1)

Hospital Services

Wigesinghe c.M.Clarke b.Mardell 57, Crowther c.Devlin b.Whiddett 46, Purbrick Run Out 0, Dodding Run Out 5, Mercer b.Devlin 11, Kay Not Out 6, Extras 23, TOTAL (5 wickets) 164 (M.Clarke 5-0-27-0, G.Coulson 5-1-20-0, R.Hayward 3-0-12-0, N.Clarke 6-0-26-0, N.Devlin 6-0-19-1, J.Mardell 6-0-30-1, L.Whiddett 3-0-19-1)

Steve

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