The C team very much enjoyed their day at the seaside producing what was arguably their best all round performance of the season to beat a strong Overstrand side by 113 runs in glorious sunshine at a very welcoming and picturesque setting on the North Norfolk coast. The skipper duly lost the toss and Melton were invited to bat on a rather dangerous looking green and damp wicket. Connor “Homebase” Stearman and Damien “Woody” Loines set about the task of building the innings with “Homebase” in particular being aggressive with any loose deliveries from the opening pair of West (10-0-31-2) and young Zelos (5-1-24-1). West was particularly impressive getting prodigious seam movement from a penetrating line and length. “Woody” looked in fine form regularly finding the middle of the bat including some very elegant cover drives and cut shots. “Homebase” was eventually tempted once too often into the lofted drive to long-on and was caught on the boundary for a sprightly 20. Steve “Too many donkeys” Clarke prodded and probed and very uncharacteristically got off the mark with a boundary and a rather elegant looking leg glance. That however would be the last of Steve’s contribution as he was then LBW to young Zelos. This brought to the crease an out-of-sorts and out-of-form Tony “Beefy” Alborough who decided he would try and change his luck by using a child’s bat. Having pushed and strolled a few singles it wasn’t until he had scored 16 that he reverted to type and started to find the middle of the bat and to clubbing the ball over the boundary. With “Woody” looking ever more confident the score rattled along, adding 118 runs in a 20 over spell. “Woody” smoothly passed 50 runs for what was difficult to believe to be only the second or third time for him as a Melton player! He was particularly brutal with the bowling of the older B. Zelos (12-2-64-2), Munday (7-0-39-0) and Robinson (5-0-31-1), cutting, driving and pulling any loose balls to the boundary. The partnership was eventually broken when Beefy mistimed one too many expansive shots and was caught off the bowling of Jackson for 46; a welcome return to form for him and encouragement from his teammates to continue the trend of playing with children’s cricket equipment. Having spent over an hour padded up and waiting in the pavilion, David “two jumpers” Bunn at last came to the crease only to be sent straight back by what was probably the ball of the day, a reverse swinging yorker from Jackson that removed his off stump. The innings then faltered a little as the Overstrand bowlers and in particular Jackson (6-2-29-3) and the returning West getting their second wind. Rob Smith (5) struggled to hit the ball through the infield with both he and Woody getting out in quick succession; Woody holing out to a mistimed late cut to gully and a head high catch by Munday for an excellent 82. Fawad (31) then came to the crease with James “The Bishop” Robb (12) who in adopting a “screensaving” approach allowed Fawad to hit with abandon, putting one massive six into Overstrand High Street, never to be seen again. With the score passing 200, wickets then fell quickly in an attempt to add even more runs to the scoreboard in the last 5 overs. Duncan “Buckets” Greenslade (5) came and went quite quickly despite getting off the mark with a boundary with Stuart “Disney” Wilson (0) leaving even more quickly after barely taking guard. This left the skipper (0no) to face a hat trick ball in the 45th over from West, who was the pick of the Overstrand bowlers, and prevent the opposition from gaining another bowling point – which he duly did but was then later fined for “screensaving”!
After an enjoyable tea in the thatched pavilion and the sunshine, Melton took to the field and a different bowling strategy from the skipper. “Two jumpers” and “Disney” opened the bowling, allowing the skipper to fully digest his tea and watch proceedings at mid-off. After a couple of loose overs from each bowler they settled into the task of attack and containing the batsmen. “Disney” Wilson produced some fine deliveries and eventually achieved the initial breakthrough after Bidel (21) and Wilkins (26) had put on 53 runs in 16 overs with Bidel playing and missing at a very slow straight ball that eventually dislodged the bails. David, (6-1-24-0) eventually ran out of steam and jumpers and was replaced by “The Bishop” who produced an excellent spell of six overs (6-3-14-1), the first three of which were maidens and included the wicket of Jackson (5). At 62-2 after 20 overs the home team were under pressure, with the Melton fielders providing excellent support to the bowlers including several excellent stops in the covers by Rob and “Woody”, a catch in the deep at cow-corner by Duncan “Buckets” Greenslade to remove West (1) and a run out by a resuscitated “Disney” to remove the dangerous Rogers (28) with a smart and accurate throw to the bowlers end. The bowling partnership of Fawad (4-1-8-2) and the skipper (3.1-0-9-3) proved to be the game winning combination with remainder of the Overstrand middle order (R West, 1; B Zelos, 13) and the lower order (Robinson, 1; J Zelos, 0; G Zelos, 2; Munday, 0no) only able to progress their total from 95-4 to 112 by games end in the 33rd over.
So, an excellent performance from top banana, “Woody”, and the C team who this season have thoroughly enjoyed their visits to the seaside.