Ben’s Century Keeps Title in the Balance
GREAT MELTON beat DOWNHAM by 7 wickets at Melton Park in the Norfolk Alliance Division 3
A brilliant century from Ben Mann left top the table Downham Market with a nervous week ahead of them, as Melton went to an impressive 7 wicket victory. However, it had not always seemed likely to transpire in this way. At 162 for 3 with about 10 overs remaining, the visitors looked likely to post an very demanding first innings total of 250 or more. What turned out to be the critical blow was struck by Melton opening bowler Ben Carding, who removed Downham’s middle order batsman Arndt for 56 with a tremendous delivery which nipped back off the seam and hit the top of middle stump. In doing so, he broke a century partnership with Corbett who was shortly to be trapped LBW by Matt Clarke.
Surprisingly, the rest of the batting order offered little, and Downham were reduced to 198 all out from 43 overs. Pick of the bowlers was Tom Grant who took 3 for 20 from his 9 overs to make early in roads.
When Mann came to the wicket at 21 for 2 the game still hung in the balance. However, the contest was quickly turned on its head by an array of beautifully timed and well selected shots which took the game away from the visitors within a matter of overs. It is not an exaggeration to say that he didn’t mis-time a shot during the whole of his innings. Mann was well supported by Jack Pearse who was to end on 43 not out, to go with Mann’s 117 not out.
With an away fixture at Acle remaining, Melton will be keen to maintain the pressure on those above them in the division right to the end of the season.