Tom Smith hit his highest-ever score – 40 – as Melton’s Norfolk Friendly Alliance team continued their highly successful experimental season with a third win in four matches in the beautiful setting of Ashby St Mary.
Having won the toss, Melton chose to bat in hot conditions. This decision seemed to be incorrect as Melton staggered to 14-3 after 6 overs. However, Ben and Simon Carding began a steady recovery adding 32 for the 4th wicket. While Simon continued to accumulate, wickets fell regularly at the other end and at 63-6 there was a risk that the innings might fall away. Simon (26), Tom Smith in belligerent mood (40) and Clive Gristwood (13) added 66 in 12 overs before the final wicket fell in the 38th over. The final total of 129 was only just below par for the Ashby Hall ground this season.
The opening 10 overs of the Ashby innings bowled by Stuart Wilson (5-1-9-1) and Rob Smith (5-1-8-1) yielded only 18 runs. The partnership of Bunn (36) and Tidswell (36*) then accelarated the innings to 70 off 20 overs until Simon Carding (5-4-3-3) came on to begin to turn the game Meltons way. Simon immediately removed the dangerous Bunn and the required run rate began to climb. Kevin Frazer (4-0-12-1) and Duncan Greenslade (3-0-10-0) kept thing quiet from the other end.
Tom Smith (6-2-10-1) and Ben Carding (3-0-14-1) were given the challenge of winning the game and bowled accurately under pressure to win a tight contest by 5 runs. Ashby’s opener Tidswell batted throughout the 40 overs for 36. The innings closed at 124-8