GREAT MELTON (187-8) lost to SOUTH WALSHAM (189-9) by 1 wicket at Melton Park in a Friendly

This match was advertised as a good old fashioned timed game, and it did not fail to produce.

Building slowly as the home side looked to post a competitive score before declaring, leaving enough overs to bowl their visitors out; bookending a delicious ‘team tea’, the afternoon reached a crescendo as the game finished with just 8 balls to spare.

To the majority of the Melton players this was a totally new experience.  The aim was to simply bat as well as they could before tea, and set a challenging yet competitive target for the east Norfolk side to chase.

George Bunn (47), continuing to ease himself back into the game, started cautiously, finding timing on a slow pitch difficult, before unleashing some typically fulsome shots to outpace his opening partner Joe Bickel by 6:1 in a stand of 55.  George had survived a plum lbw shout on a No Ball.  Garth Futter (2/25), bowling tight probing lines, eventually getting his just rewards. He also trapped Joe (8) with one probably hitting middle and off.

At 55 / 1 off 11 Melton were seemingly well placed.

David Bunn (36) tried to up the rate after some very tight overs from Chris Pye had the momentum stalling. Bowling in tandem with Futter, the pair put the brakes on the innings, with just fourteen coming of overs 15 to 23.  Chris Wood took the brunt of David’s mini attack, with a six and a couple of fours off one over.

Tom Moye (30) hoped to play a captain’s innings and cash in on a drying pitch, but after a handful of fours, missed Stewart Mallett’s first delivery.  Melton were 134 / 5 off 34 overs, needing to post around 200.

James Bridges (11), Kai Wilkinson-Loines (14) and Kev Ellis (10) took the hosts to 169 off 43 as Ollie Everitt chipped in with 2 wickets.

As tea approached, Cassie Mawby (9*) and Caitlin Ellis (7*) came together to try and produce something.  Initial solid defence was offered before Cassie pulled behind square for a deserved, and needed, boundary.  Not wishing to be outdone, Caitlin then unleashed perhaps the shot of the match with a sumptuous cover drive to the long side boundary.

The fielding sides’ stomachs were starting to grumble as they finished their 49th over, and were eventually called in for the due refreshment.  The home side had amassed 187, which they felt could be sufficient with some tight bowling.

Cricket is a team game played by individuals over a series of mini events, which lends itself perfectly to the collection and collation statistics.

Leo de Salis’ 19th delivery was one such event and statistic to which he has been moving inexorably since the start of season.  His 31st wicket of the summer, the ball thudding into the front pad behind the bat, may have been slightly fortuitous, though TV replays may also have supported his concerted appeal.  It did mean he had reached 700 wickets for Great Melton.  After 521 games he has maintained a consistent 1.34 wickets per game ratio.

He would go on to snaffle a 2nd with Paul Wood lured to swing at a wide delivery to  loop a catch to Kyle Weston at point, ending his short 6 over spell with 2/8.

At the Dove Cot end, Caitlin (0/18) bowled superbly, starting with 2 maidens and maintaining tight lines and a good length, with just two aggressive shots off her 36 mini events.

Robert Bean (34) and Will Sillitoe (58) then got the board moving, adding 66 for the 3rd wicket in 9 overs. Melton had managed 22 overs before drinks and with the 20 left from 6pm, the game was well and truly on.

David Bunn proceeded to clean up Rob Bean 2nd event after the restart.

38 runs and 7 overs later, George Bunn had the dangerous looking Ollie Everitt (18) caught by Joe Bickel above his chest on the deep midwicket boundary.

James Bridges produced 2 perfect Yorkers to dismiss Sillitoe for a thoroughly deserved half century, and Simon Oxley for 9.

Tom Moye took the responsibility of bowling at the death, and so nearly brought the perfect result.  Garth Futter (17) had unleashed a big over of 15, before the young spinner exacted revenge, and removed Dan Scales 2 deliveries later.   Stewart Mallet lofted to Kyle at mid on, and with 2 required, the tight finish desired had transpired.

Chris Woods, belying his 70 summers, still had enough composure to pull the teenage spinner through square leg for the winning boundary.

For scorecard click here:  http://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/2935495

Leo DeSalis

Categories: Sunday Team Reports