Great Melton made the long trip to Dersingham worthwhile with a convincing 7 wicket victory, which moved them to second place in division 3 of the Alliance and just 11 points behind Sprowston “A”, with a game in hand.
Dersingham skipper Dickie Sayers won the toss and chose to bat on a flat and dry looking pitch and with a strong wind blowing from one end, Richard Waddell took the new ball and although struggled with his line early on, caused problems for both openers with his pace and bounce. Sayers was hit on the elbow by a rising delivery from Waddell that led to a short break in play but with the bowler leaking extras too the scoreboard ticked over even though very few runs came from the bat. Mark Scott did his best to keep the pressure on the home batsman with 4 maidens from his first 5 overs but it was Waddell who made the break through when Mallet chopped a ball into his own stumps. Melton’s fielding was untidy and this allowed Sayers in particular to find the boundary 8 times in his innings on 34 but veteran bowler David Bunn who bowled with good pace and accuracy found Sayers’ edge, which was safely taken by Woods behind the stumps. The introduction of Sibert was always going to be a key moment in the game with the dry pitch looking as if it would take spin and sure enough the leg spinner found appreciable turn early, which caused uncertainty amongst the batsman. Gollaglee, Arnold and Osbourne all fell quite quickly to Sibert whose only difficulty was avoiding the leg side wide call – it was disheartening for the bowler and fielders alike to see several turning deliveries miss leg stump by inches only to be called wide and at this level it is questionable whether the Alliance rule makes total sense but either way Melton were on top and when Ollie Harris trapped Felgate lbw for 14, Dersingham were in difficulty at 128 for 5.
Melton suspected Manny Sayers to be the key wicket in bowling out the home side cheaply, but when he inexplicably tried to hit Sibert out of the attack with the field set back and was excellently caught by Dave Allum out at long off, the visitors hadn’t reckoned on a rear guard response from Hazel who, batting at 9 gave his side hope with an excellent 38. Melton didn’t help their own cause though as several of the bowlers lost control in search of wickets and fired too many deliveries down the leg side so it wasn’t a total surprise given the slightly comical running of Havers that in the end a run out gave Melton their 8th and last wicket. With Sewell for company and playing a decent hand he and Hazel batted through and Dersingham posted 215 for 8 from their 46 overs, which whilst never really looking like a winning total it was far better than they had probably hoped for when at 129 for 7. A reflection of the lack of discipline to Melton’s bowling was the 59 extras conceded – comfortably the highest score of Dersingham’s innings.
In reply Melton got off to an excellent start. Alex Cooper looked in good touch and found the extra cover boundary several times in the opening overs, much to the frustration of Manny Sayers who took the new ball for Dersingham. Cooper cracked 8 boundaries in his innings of 50 and with Wood looking untroubled and solid too, a first wicket stand of 84 in just 18 overs was an excellent platform for the visitors.
Cooper was out shortly after reaching his half century, brilliantly taken at slip by Dickie Sayers who held a sharp low catch, and when Allum was out for 1 shortly thereafter Melton were 97 for 2 but it was Martyn Cook’s innings that swung the game back firmly in favour of the visitors. Whilst he tried a few rather wreckless shots early on that earned him some stern words from his batting partner Richard Wood, the “chef” settled down and started to play with confidence and sense as he set about the Dersingham attack with a series of strokes to showcase the talent he has. He struck 7 fours and 2 sixes in his innings of 59 but in the end he lost his wicket to an ugly swipe across the line. By that stage the result was not in doubt though particularly with Wood at the other end who, by this stage, was seeing it well and finding the fence with ease. Jim Rice joined Wood who had played excellently for his 86 not out, to see Melton home to a comfortable and dominant win in just the 38th over and for the loss of only 3 wickets.
Desrsingham (6 points)
D Sayers ct Woods b Bunn 34, T Mallet b Waddell 1, B Gollaglee ct Rice b Sibert 9, I Arnold c & b Sibert 16, L Osbourne b Sibert 6, S Felgate lbw b Harris 14, M Sayers ct Allum b Sibert 11, J Havers run out 7, M Hazel not out 38, G Sewell not out 17. Extras 59. Total 215 for 8. (R Waddell 10-0-49-1, M Scott 7-4-22-0, D Bunn 6-1-24-1, M Sibert 12-0-83-4, O Harris 10-0-32-1, J Rice 1-0-3-0
Great Melton (24 points)
A Cooper ct D Sayers b Hazel 50, R Wood not out 86, D Allum ct Hazel b Cook 1, M Cook b Hazel 59, J Rice not out 8. Extras 12. Total 216 for 3. (M Sayers 8-1-49-0, G Sewell 12-1-59-0, L Osbourne 5-1-24-0, M Hazel 7.3-0-41-2, D Cook 6-0-40-1)