A team in thrilling tie at Halvergate
L Hannant c Clarke b Bettridge 9
S Brister c Stearman b L Whiddett 45
K London c G Bunn b L Whiddett 22
W Gilder Not Out 34
S Howley c G Bunn b L Whiddett 2
T Crane Not Out 1
Total (6 Wickets, 46 Overs) 148
I Bettridge 12-3-29-2, D Bunn 7-2-18-0, D Godbold 4-1-14-1, R Sims 12-0-51-0, L Whiddett 11-2-33-3
Great Melton A:
J Whiddett c & b London 22
G Bunn b Fox 10
M Clarke c Clarke b London 10
P Stearman b London 21
C Elliott c Booth b London 3
L Whiddett Run Out 38
D God bold c Clarke b London 2
S Woods c Crane b Fox 13
D Bunn b Booth 3
R Sims Not Out 3
Total (9 Wickets, 46 Overs) 148
S Fox 11-3-28-2, T Crane 6-2-18-0, A Booth 9-2-19-1, K London 12-3-39-5, S Howley 8-3-26-0
A man of the match performance by skipper Lee Whiddett wasn’t quite enough to secure his side victory as they were held by hosts Halvergate to a dramatic tie in Norfolk Alliance Division Five.
Winning the toss again, Whiddett elected to field first and Ian Bettridge was once again at his miserly best as openers Clarke and Howley struggled to get him away. With David Bunn bowling equally well in the first ten overs, only 18 runs were on the board at that stage.
Soon after Bettridge (2-29) had Howley (8) caught in the gully by a rising delivery and Matt Clarke took two catches to remove key batsmen Stephen Clarke (22) and Luke Hannant (9) to Daryl God bold (1-14) and Bettridge respectively. After 23 overs just 63 runs were on the board.
Kelvin London (22) tried to release the shackles with a couple of meaty strikes in Bettridge’s last over but both he and Simon Brister (45) continued to be frustrated by the pace off the ball tactics employed by Rob Sims and skipper Whiddett.
Whiddett went on to remove both batsmen, Brister to a superb boundary catch by Paul Stearman, and also took the wicket of S Howley (2) as he went on to record figures of 11-2-33-3. Gilder (34no) played a useful knock in the final overs but the home side never got away and recorded 148-6 from their 46 overs.
In reply, Jason Whiddett (22) and George Bunn (10) provided a solid platform of 25-0 from 10 overs before Bunn was castled by S Fox (2-28). Matt Clarke (10) once again looked in good nick before playing across the line and nicking off to the bowling of London. With Jason Whiddett chipping one back to the wily spinner soon after, Melton were suddenly in trouble at 55-3 in 21 overs. Paul Stearman (21) counter-attacked with three huge sixes off London before the spinner had the last laugh but some much needed momentum had been injected taking the score to 78-3 in 25 overs.
Chris Elliott (3) then hit a leading edge to mid-off and soon after Daryl God bold (2) was caught behind as London recorded figures of 12-3-39-5, leaving Melton in real strife at 99-6 in 37 overs. Skipper Whiddett was joined at the wicket by Simon Woods and their partnership staved off the threat of defeat and gave them a chance of victory. Whiddett, seeing the ball well, began to find the gaps and hit the odd boundary and with some good running by Woods (13), they took the equation to 21 needed from the last 4 overs before Woods chipped a catch to mid-off.
David Bunn (3) joined Whiddett and the captain smashed 9 from the penultimate over to leave just 5 required from the final 6 balls. Bunn missed the first ball and was bowled from the second. Rob Sims (3no) then hit two from the third ball and chinese cut a single from the fourth leaving Whiddett on strike and two needed from two balls. Booth (1-19) speared a dart into the captain’s pads from the fifth ball for a crucial dot, before Whiddett clipped the last ball through square leg. As the captain desperately tried to get back for the second run an accurate throw to the wicket keeper allowed him to demolish the stumps with Whiddett (38) two yards out of his ground to secure an amazing tie.
The ten points leaves Melton A in second place in the table in what is building up to a fantastic and tight division.