A Team find their feet, but not victory, at higher level
Great Melton A (12 Points) secured a 90pc losing draw with Mundford (15) at School Lane in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
Great Melton A finally put together a cohesive batting performance as they got their Division Four campaign up and running with a fairly even share of the spoils at Mundford’s blissful School Lane ground.
Winning the toss for the third match in a row, Lee Whiddett inserted the opposition but they quickly made use of the flat deck and lightning outfield, racing to 31-0 off 5 overs. From there, Melton opening bowlers Michael Farmer and debutant Adam Thompson began to find the right lengths, Farmer making the crucial breakthrough when he bowled the dangerous Woods for 20, whilst Thompson bowled with appreciable away swing in good areas without much reward.
Pace off the ball seemed to be the way to go and it was skipper Whiddett and Rob Sims who put the brakes on the home side’s scoring, Whiddett removing Goodrham (41) caught and bowled before George Bunn sharply ran out R Yates for 52. Such was the pace of the outfield that boundaries were always difficult to prevent but at no point did the home side really assert dominance as the score hovered between 4 and 5 runs per over throughout. Oliver Harris started tentatively but then bowled well to remove Harrison to an over-the-shoulder catch from Jason Whiddett and then trapped Mundford skipper Brassett for 7. From 101-1 in 22 overs the home side, mainly through some late power hitting from K Long (53no) and A Bailey (26), mustered 236-6 but that represented a fine effort from Melton, who have fielded well in all three matches this season.
The key was to improve their batting display but they got off to the worst possible start as George Bunn (2) drove loosely and was bowled by C White and then Harris (0) was castled first ball. But Paul Stearman clearly hadn’t read the home side’s script as he counter-punched magnificently, hitting 3 sixes including one that destroyed a scorebox roof tile as well as 7 boundaries. With Jason Whiddett getting established at the other end and a very attacking field set by Mundford, Melton raced to 96-2 in just 15 overs.
Stearman (47) sadly perished as he mistimed a pull back to the bowler and then Tony Alborough was bowled through his legs for a duck. This united the Whiddett brothers and together they maintained the momentum, adding 36 more runs before Jason (58) was very well caught and bowled by Brassett. By now Lee Whiddett was timing the ball nicely and, ably supported by Simon Wooldridge (14) and then Simon Woods, took the score to 188-6 in 39 overs, with 49 required for victory.
Unfortunately Woods was then out followed by Michael Farmer in quick succession, and whilst Whiddett (59no) continued to score well, with 8 wickets down and a tough asking rate, the target of 237 proved just beyond the visitors who closed on 219-8, securing the 90pc losing draw target to take 12 points.
R Woods b Farmer 20
M Goodrham c & b L Whiddett 41
R Yates Run Out (G Bunn) 52
K Long Not Out 53
M Wyatt lbw b Sims 8
I Harrison c J Whiddett b Harris 1
P Brassett lbw b Harris 7
A Bailey Not Out 26
Extras 28 (11w, 7b, 10lb)
Total (6 Wickets, 46 Overs) 236
A Thompson 12-2-46-0, M Farmer 5-0-29-1, L Whiddett 12-0-49-1, P Stearman 4-1-18-0, R Sims 7-1-36-1, O Harris 6-0-44-2
Great Melton A:
J Whiddett c & b Brassett 58
G Bunn b White 2
O Harris b White 0
P Stearman c & b Bailey 47
A Alborough b Bailey 0
L Whiddett Not Out 59
S Wooldridge c Bailey b Brassett 14
S Woods caught b Leader 6
M Farmer lbw b Bailey 0
A Thompson Not Out 4
Extras 29 (13w, 10b, 6lb)
Total (8 Wickets, 46 Overs) 219
M Wyatt 5-1-25-0, C White 6-2-25-2, M Phillips 2-0-11-0, M Leader 12-2-67-1, A Bailey 12-3-29-3, P Brassett 9-1-46-2