Despite some fine individual performances, Great Melton slipped to defeat by 54 runs at Saxlingham in Division 2.
Saxlingham batted first and courtesy of some ill disciplined new ball bowling the home side’s openers made a positive start with 37 runs coming from the first 10 overs, but with a number of those runs being extras very little pressure was applied on what was a damp and awkward batting surface. Mark Scott and Nigel Young both bowled economical spells to halt the run rate, each conceding just 24 and 20 runs respectively from their first 8 overs and with Scott having picked up the wickets of Dave Lacey (25) and Alex Browne (31) the scoreboard took on a altogether more healthy appearance at 71 for 2 after 25 overs. However Saxlingham, whilst scoring slowly on a large and slow outfield, did manage to keep wickets in hand and a useful partnership of 72 between Pearson (41 not out) and Adams (43) provided the cornerstone of the home side’s innings but Melton’s bowlers did well to restrict the total to 168 – 16 year old Darshan Rai bowled 2 good spells to take 3 for 42 and at tea Melton very much felt as it they were in the ascendancy although in truth if the bowling had been more disciplined and the extras avoided, Saxlingham would have struggled to post 150.
In reply Melton’s progress was slow and when Wood (16) and Allum (2) were dismissed early, a partnership of substance was needed to get the innings back on track. Things worsened when Martyn Cook (3) was brilliantly caught by Alex Browne at deep square leg but Jonathan Howard (32) making a return to his former club and Matt Clarke (21) provided some hope for the visitors with a useful partnership of 56, but both were dismissed trying to force the pace on a wicket that proved very difficult to score on in the face of some accurate slow bowling. Adams produced a fine all round display to take 4 for 25 as the Melton middle to late order all fell in pursuit of getting closer to the 90% needed for improved points haul for a losing draw.
Saxlingham were good value for their win and outplayed Melton on their home turf, adapting to the conditions better than the visitors.
D Lacey ct Clarke b Scott 25, A Brown stumped Wood, b Scott 31, A Pearson not out 43, D Adams lbw b Rai 43, O Brown b Rai 4, T Browes ct Waddell b Howard 1, N Forsdick b Rai 2, S Burridge not out 3, T Key not out 0. Extras 18. Total 168 for 6. (D Rai 12-2-42-3, N Gristwood 3-0-21-0, R Waddell 2-0-6-0, M Scott 11-2-32-2, N Young, 11-3-34-0, J Howard 7-0-29-1)
R Wood ct b Forsdick 16, D Allum b A Brown 2, M Cook ct A Brown, b Forsdick 3, M Clarke ct b Adams 21, J Howard ct b Adams 32, R Waddell run out 4, N Young ct and b Browes 3, D Godbold stumped b Browes 0, M Scott ct b Adams 5, N Gristwood ct b Adams 3, D Rai not out 0. Extras 25. Total 114 for 10. (A Brown 8-2-15-1, N Forsdick 9-3-21-2, Mendham 2-0-13-0, D Adams 12-3-25-4, T Browes 11-1-31-2)