Senior Round-Up: Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th July
With Melton Park having hosted two in-house games to test-out the club’s Covid19 precautions and allow players the chance of a bit of match practice, the cricket season finally began in earnest last weekend with four senior matches. It was almost like a ’normal’ start to the season on Saturday as the 1st and 2nd Teams, competing in the NCB’s hastily-arranged competition, had plenty of rain to contend with. The 1st Team, having scored a decent-looking 214-7 at North Runcton, saw their match abandoned without a ball being bowled in the second innings. The Greenslade brothers, Chris & Joey, showed some good form with the bat, scoring 47 and 51 respectively while Sam Mann (32), Matt Clarke (17), Connor Stearman (16), Lohit Kannan (14) and Richard Waddell (13 not out) all made double-figures.
The A Team entertained Swardeston/CEYMS and were bowled out for 161 with Josh Wright contributing a half-century and Ryan Hayward 30. Nick Aston (16), Kai Wilkinson-Loines (17) and Kyle Weston (19) all chipped in at the top of the order but the last 5 batsmen all went cheaply as Sam Thelwell took 3-16 to leave Melton with the task of trying to defend a slightly below-par total. Thelwell then showed his prowess with the bat, scoring 60 and, with Ryan Edmonds hitting an unbeaten 51, Swardeston won with 7 wickets and 8 overs to spare. To their credit Melton sportingly stayed in the field so a result could be achieved, despite the quite heavy rain. Kyle Weston was the pick of the Melton bowlers with 1-17 from his 7 overs.
On Sunday Melton had 2 friendly matches in order to give their mainly 3rd and 4th team players the chance of some competitive cricket and, although both games were lost, both resulted in very close finishes. At Sprowston the home side scored 159 all out with James Woolston hitting 58 and Ross Bullard 41 while young Flynn Crosthwaite took 3-29 and Matt Rushton 3-31. In reply, Imaad Khalid, anchored one end, batting the full 40 overs for 23, while Corey Rushton (31), Ryan Hayward (25), Peter Graves (21) and Matt Ruston (15) all helped edge Melton closer to victory but, in the end, they finished 5 runs short.
After scheduled opponents St.Andrews struggled to get a team, Melton were grateful to Acle, who filled in at the last minute, and their young side played a part in an entertaining game at Melton Park. For the first time Melton had 5 members of the same family – the Greenslade’s – playing in the same match and with father-and-son, Paul and Liam Stevens also included, it certainly made meeting the ‘social distancing/family grouping guidelines easier! Unsurprisingly the match was dominated by Greenslades, with dad Duncan taking 1-18, Alice 1-20, Joey 1-19 and Rebecca 1-18 in helping restrict Acle to 167 all out although two other youngsters Liam Stevens (1-29) and George Woodcock (1-20) bowled particularly well and Marcus Mawby weighed in with 2 late wickets. Will Woodhead (37), Adam Seabright (38), Finn Adams (26) and Nathan Shaw (25) were the main Acle run-scorers. Paul Stevens (10) and Steve Phoenix (13) got Melton’s reply off to a study start with 49 for the first wicket and, with Chris Greenslade hitting 4 sixes and 4 fours in a whirlwind 53 before retiring, Melton looked on course for victory but two wickets in an over by Archie Littlewood (2-17) changed the course of the game. Joey (14) and Duncan Greenslade (17) inched Melton closer to Acle’s total but both were out caught and, despite a valiant effort from George Woodcock & Liam Stevens, Melton fell short by 3 runs.