A Game of Two Halves for Melton A
Great Melton A (103-10, 6 points) lost to Brooke A (161-10, 23 points) by 58 runs at Melton Park in Norfolk Alliance Division 3
Great Melton A Team produced their best performance of the season in the field but their now-familiar batting frailties cost them a potential victory over high flying Brooke A.
Heavy rain during the morning meant a late start to the game, with the captains agreeing to play a reduced 40 overs a side. Stand in skipper Simon Woods was happy to win the toss and in what looked like good bowling conditions had no hesitation in inviting Brooke to bat first. Miserly seamer Gary Coulson was able to move the ball both through the air & off the pitch and in tandem with wily left-arm spinner Rob Sims caused problems for the Brooke openers from the outset. The breakthough wasn't long in coming and it was Sims who struck first, having Moyse well caught at slip by Simon Wooldridge for 2.
Richard Timm joined Jon Andrews at the crease for Brooke but Coulson & Sims continued to cause problems for both batsmen, who found scoring difficult. The score stumbled along to 28 in the 11th over when Coulson produced a beauty to remove Andrews, once again snaffled by the excellent Wooldridge at slip. 28-2 soon became 32-3 as Brooke number 4 Grisley departed for a duck, caught by Moxon in the gully off the bowing of Coulson. Big-hitting Richard Gilliat joined Timm and the two of them set about rebuilding the innings, Gilliat explosively & Timm with circumspection. Their partnership first saw off the spells from Coulson & Sims, then continued to accumulate from change bowlers Fergus Hughes & Nick Gristwood, taking the score over the 100 run mark in the 24th over. Both bowlers kept their heads though & just when Melton felt they needed a wicket Hughes beat the advancing Gilliat in the flight, clean bowling him for a well-struck 34.
Gristwood, after struggling for line early in his spell, came to the party in fine style, clean bowling Stone & Brooke skipper Jonathan Wills in consecutive deliveries. Hughes struck again in the next over when Timm edged to keeper Woods, ending his resolute knock of 51 and leaving Brooke seemingly in the mire at 115-7. Beaumont & Grisley batted energetically, adding 40 for the 8th wicket until Gristwood had the former caught at deep square leg by the Martin Bunn, who had only just been sent out into the deep. Birthday boy Tom Moye had to wait longer than expected to get into the action due to Hughes bowling so well, and in the end only had one over, but that was enough for him to register his 100th club wicket, trapping the sweeping Hayman chest before wicket for 1.
Gristwood wrapped things up in the 39th over, removing Grisley in a carbon copy of Baeumont's dismissal, caught in the deep by Bunn, his 4th wicket of the day, ending the Brooke innings on 161.
At the interval Melton were happy with their afternoon's work, a day when all the bowlers bowled well & no catches were dropped.
161 seemed eminently chaseable as long as Melton batted sensibly and the opening batsmen were sent out with a driective to see off the opening bowlers. Unfortunately, they weren't able to do that & Conor Stearman was the first to depart in only the 2nd over, hitting a rank long-hop from Beaumont straight down square leg's throat. Number 3 batsman Simon Wooldridge could repeat his earlier slip-catching heroics & was castled by Stone for 1. Martin Bunn joined Fergus in the middle & the pair of them looked to be largely untroubled until Gilliat joined the attacked & ruffled Hughes with a fast, short -pitched assault. This tactic paid off for the away side as Hughes spooned an easy catch
close to the wicket, having battled well for his 16.
Hughes Snr, Liam, replaced his son & in tandem with Martin Bunn held Melton's strongest hopes of building the partnership that was needed to get Melton in a position to chase down the target. Those hopes began to fade soon after when Bunn gifted a return catch to bowler Grisley & were dented even further one over later when Jon Moxon couldn't keep out a straight one from Dabin, bowled for 1. Melton were now 55-5 & in serious trouble.
The languid Nick Gristwood joined Liam Hughes, both men for a crisis, played senisibly
in the face of some contined tight bowling & knocked the ball around as best they could, adding a further 30 to the total, but by now the run rate had shot up to around 7 an over. In the face of this it was of little surprise that the next wicket came via a run out: a terrible mix up in the middle saw Gristwood run out for 12. Simon Woods came to the crease but Liam Hughes soon depaarted. Having been tied down by the Grisley's excellent leg spin, he tried of break the shackles but was caught in the deep for 20 – Melton's top score on the day. In spite of being culpable in Rob Sims being run out without facing, Woods seemed to find batting easier than most of his team mates & crashed a few boundaries in his unbeaten 17, opting to go down fighting rather than block out for a draw but when Brooke restored Gilliat to the attack, the Melton innings subsided, Moye & Coulson being dispatched in consecutive deliveries to finish the home team's innings on 103, still some 58 runs short of their target.
Once again, Melton showed their spirit in the field, but were again outclassed by their opponents superior quality.
J.Andrews ct Wooldridge b Coulson 15
S.Moyse ct Woodlridge b Sims 2
R.Timm ct Woods b F.Hughes 51
W.Grisley ct Moxon b Coulson 0
R.Glliat b F.Hughes 34
B.Stone b Gristwood 5
J.Wills b Gristwood 0
A.Beaumont ct Bunn b Gristwood 19
C.Grisley ct Bunn b Gristwood 17
R.Hayman LBW Moye 1
A.Dabin not out 0
Total (extras 17, 10 wickets) 161
G.Coulson 10-3-29-2, R.Sims 10-0-41-1, N.Gristwood 9.1-1-43-4, F.Hughes 8-0-38-2, T.Moye 1-0-3-1
Great Melton A
C.Stearman ct Stone b Beaumont 2
F.Hughes ct Stone b Gilliat 16
S.Wooldridge b Stone 1
M.Bunn ct & b Grisley 20
L.Hughes ct Gilliat b Grisley 20
J.Moxon b Dabin 1
N.Gristwood run out 12
S.Woods not out 17
R.Sims run out 0
T.Moye b Gilliat 2
G.Coulson LBW Gilliat 0
Total (extras 16, 10 wickets) 103
B.Stone 7-0-23-1, A.Beaumont 4-0-8-1, A.Dabin 6-2-20-1, R.Gilliat 2.4-0-8-3, C.Grisley 10-4-17-2, J.Wills 1-1-0-0, R.Hayman 3-0-21-0