Not for the first time this season, Great Melton First Team timed their run chase to perfection to beat Acle 2nds with 2 balls to spare. However, it had not always seemed the likely outcome. There had been times when the home side’s first total might prove too demanding on a pitch which seemed to get slower and lower as the day progressed. Having been put in, Acle reached 197-6 largely thanks to an excellent 3rd wicket stand of 137 between Neil Moggan (71) and Jordan Webster (52). Aslam Mohammed was the pick of the bowlers with an impressive 3-34 and, although Melton were hampered by injuries to two of their front line bowlers, Bunn, Kannan and Aston manfully filled the void, with 15-year-old Lohit Kannan’s off spin going for an impressively miserly 1-16 from his 8 overs.
The chase started well and, with Melton on 105 for 2 from the first 20 overs, the task seemed a formality. Both George Bunn (25) and Kannan (16) struck the ball aggressively and intelligently in an opening stand of 53. However, the next 15 overs went for only 33 runs, as Acle’s spin attack bowled with commendable accuracy. Despite 35 from Aston and 32 from Richard Wood, 38 runs were still needed from the last 30 deliveries and there was need for the bowlers to demonstrate their batting prowess. They duly did as Luke Marchant (18*) and Aslam Mohammed (19*) heroically struck the winning runs, the former still nursing an injured finger which had prevented him from bowling his full allocation of overs. It was Melton’s seventh win in as many matches and the stage is set for an epic dual with second-placed Bradenham this Saturday.
The A team lost by 43 runs to Division 5 leaders Sandringham at Melton Park. Kyle Mason conceded just 13 runs in 9 overs, Rob Sims took 4-35 and Matt Henderson 3-42 as the visitors were restricted to 175-8, with skipper Aaron Nichol top-scoring with 39. It was a total Melton should have been able to chase down, however, wickets fell regularly as Melton were pinned down by the accuracy of the Sandringham bowlers and were dismissed in 42 overs for a disappointing 132. Connor White, making a welcome return from university, scored 30 and Kai Wilkinson-Loines 26 but Callum Lee (1-16), Ben Melton (1-15), Kristan Heffer (2-24) and Chris Smith (1-31) all bowled economical 9-over spells.
The struggles of the Bs and Cs continue as poor unavailabily throughout the club meant that the C Team had to concede against Old Catton with the resulting 24-point deduction laving them bottom of Division 4SE. The Bs occupy the same place in 2E following another defeat at the hands of divisional leaders Norwich Bystanders. Melton actually bowled and fielded well after Matt Rushton had won the toss. Leo DeSalis (10-1-29-1) and Rushton (10-2-29-1) were the pick of the bowlers and there was a fantastic one-handed catch by young Flynn Crossthwaite but a score of 197-7 always looked a little out-of-reach given Melton Bs’ struggles with the bat this season. Phil Bugg (16) and Corey Rushton (18) gave Melton a solid enough start with an opening stand of 40 but the gentle pace and flight of Steven Andrews seemed to bamboozle the Melton batsmen. Andrews returned remarkable figures of 9.5-4-14-6 as Melton were dismissed for 79 in the 40th over.
The Sunday side bowled out Barney & Fulmodeston for 150 with 15-year-old Joseph Graves taking 2-17 from 7 excellent overs on his Sunday debut. Josh Wright (2-46) and Matt Rushton (2-36) also took 2 wickets while skipper Nick Mackenzie conceded just 7 runs in 5 overs. Melton reached their target in just 26.2 overs with Ben Mann scoring 68 and Lee Whiddett and Kai Wilkinson-Loines unbeaten on 24 and 22 respectively.
This weekend is the Club’s Beer Festival weekend with Junior Coaching (as usual) on Friday, entertainment by Joe Bailey on Saturday evening and the annual ‘Sixes’ tournament on Sunday. Guests are very welcome.