Another Ton For Chris In Vital Win
Senior Weekend Round-Up: Saturday 7th August
Another hundred from Chris Greenslade, his third of the season, helped Great Melton Firsts to a vital win over Beccles in Alliance Division 2. The Alliance Committee's decision to move from aggregate to average points and back again in the space of 2 weeks, had seen Melton up and down the table like a yo-yo and, with the final reversion to aggregate points leaving them second from bottom, Melton badly needed to end a run of 3 successive defeats. Skipper Richard Waddell rang the changes, drafting in Nick Aston, Rob Mackintosh and 15-year-old Corey Rushton for his 1st Team debut. An early heavy shower and the forecast of further rain saw the captains and umpires agree to reduce the overs to 30 per side and it was Beccles who were asked to bat first. After decent early spells from Mackintosh, Waddell and Dom Evans, the slow bowlers took over and wickets fell regularly as Joe Bickel (6-037-2), Ben Mann (5-0-34-3) and Corey (4.3-0-17-3) combined to bowl out the visitors inside the 30 overs for 142, with Ben Milburn's 26 being Beccles top score. What Melton have lacked in recent matches has been a batsman prepared to stick around and provide some backbone to the innings – too often wickets have fallen in clusters as Melton's flamboyant stroke-makers have come and gone. Against Beccles, Dom Evans, proved the perfect foil to Chris Greenslade's extravagance. After a watchful start, Greenslade gradually upped the tempo and, by the time Evans was run out by a direct hit for 24 the score had already moved to 110 and Chris had scored 77 and, within 2 overs, he'd brought up his century – a brilliant 81-ball effort that included 3 massive sixes and 16 fours. It saw Melton to a 9-wicket victory – and maximum points – in 22.3 overs.
The A Team made it a really good day for the club by overcoming Division 5 leaders Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers A in a nail-biting game reduced to 35 overs per side. At Barton Turf, chasing the home side's 141-7, Melton won with one ball and one wicket to spare thanks mainly to Sam Mann's 38 and Kyle Weston's 34. At 63-5 and 84-6 it looked game over for Melton but a partnership of 44 between Sam and Kyle took Melton within sight of victory. Three quick wickets kept things interesting before Matt Henderson and Dale Weston ended the tension. Earlier Ali Ponder hit 8 fours and a six in an excellent 70 with James Sheldrake (23) and Rob Humphries (19) chipping in while Matt Henderson took the bowling honours with figures of 4-0-19-5 although all the bowlers, but particularly Josh Wright (7-0-14-1), did well. The win means that there are only 10 points between Ashmanhaugh and Melton at the top of the table, with Wanderers having played a game more.
Unfortunately the B and C Team games fell victim to the heavy rain but the four teams did their best to get get some cricket, waiting for the rain-soaked uncovered wickets at the UEA to dry out before attempting a 20-over-per-side game. The B Team managed to complete their 20 overs, having restricted Rackheath to 90-9 with Satheekshan Ramlingam top scoring with 26 and the wickets shared between Chris McKay (4-0-22-3); Kyle Mason (4-0-10-2), Ben Johnson (4-0-12-1) and Kai Wilkinson-Loines (4-0-26-1).
The C Team had Old Buckenham B struggling at 36-6 thanks to Jim Wimhurst (2-6), Alice Greenslade (2-15), Paul Stevens (1-7) and Millie Wimhurst (1-5) when the storm arrived and both matches were abandoned.