Great Melton A (14 Points) achieved a 90% losing draw against Brooke A (15) at Brooke in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Three
Great Melton A produced their best performance of the season so far but it wasn’t quite enough to achieve a first victory as they fell just 11 runs short of Brooke’s 224 all out in an entertaining fixture.
Lee Whiddett’s side were buoyed by the inclusion of Sam Mann, Liam Hughes and Paul Movel to their side, and further good tidings resulted when Whiddett won the toss, inserted the visitors and then saw an attempted pull from Ed Sturman go straight to Hughes at square leg from the second ball of the match, delivered by Marcus Mawby.
That was to set the tone as Mawby produced a fine 6 over opening spell. Whiddett himself, pressed into a makeshift opening bowler’s role, was also able to keep things relatively tight and Brooke could only make 30 from the first 10 overs. An early bowl from the very impressive Joe Bickel maintained the pressure, as did the improving Tom Moye at the other end, and when Paul Movel was introduced at around the halfway point, wickets began to tumble as Brooke struggled to 100-5 from the 30 over mark.
The counter-attack came from Brooke skipper Jon Wills and the impressive Block, as the returning Mawby struggled to replicate his first spell and even Movel took some punishment. Block finally perished for 70 but much damage had already been done, and with Wills unbeaten in the 40’s, Brooke were able to push up to 224 before being bowled out in the final over. Nevertheless, it was a fine effort from Melton’s bowlers, with four wickets for 14 year old Moye, 3 for Movel, and 12 consecutive overs from Bickel yielding an economical 1-40.
The total looked chaseable with a good start but Woody Loines played a poor shot, chipping to mid-off in the first over. That, however, brought Sam Mann to the crease and he looked in superb touch as he peppered the short boundary. Connor Stearman went for just 10 but Lee Whiddett proved to be the foil for Sam Mann’s strokeplay, allowing him the strike as he blasted 50 in double quick time. By the time of his dismissal, the score was 90 from around 17 overs. Game on.
Liam Hughes came to the crease and cautiously began to play himself in. Whiddett looked to take on the more aggressive role and he made 27 before being bowled by Wills just after the halfway drinks break. Jon Moxon also added 27 at a good rate but the rate was beginning to climb. When Moxon, Movel and then Bickel perished, Melton still needed around 70 runs from 8 overs. At that point, assisted by Simon Woods and then Mawby, Hughes began to unfurl some strokes, including two powerful straight sixes, as Melton heralded hopes of victory. Around 30 runs were needed from the last two overs but fine striking from Hughes took the equation to 14 needed from the last. Alas, Mawby, was unable to rotate the strike until mid-way through the over, leaving Hughes too much to do, but having passed 202 runs which was the ‘90%’ mark, Melton did gather maximum bowling and batting points as well as 4 points for the draw, closing on 213-8.
This was a pleasing performance that lifts Melton off the bottom of Division Three as they move on to face basement boys Bungay on Saturday.