Chris Hits 111 As Firsts beat Swaffham
A century from Chris Greenslade was the highlight of another rain-affected weekend of cricket for Great Melton. At least all three Saturday matches were completed although only the First Team managed to win, thanks mainly to Greenslade’s brilliant 111 out of 184 against Swaffham. With Melton Park under water on Friday night causing the cancellation (again!) of junior coaching, Saturday’s match was touch and go with water having settled under the covers. However, both teams were keen to play agreeing to reduce the overs to 35 per side to mitigate against the threat of further rain. Skipper Richard Waddell asked Swaffham to bat having won the toss knowing his major task was to limit the damage inflicted by the Payne brothers, Jasper and Alex, who always seem to relish playing at Melton Park. This time they were restricted to double figure scores although, once again, both reached 50 with Jasper caught by Greenslade off Waddell for 53 and Alex stumped by Tim Hales off Rob Mackintosh for 61 but, with Waddell (2-23), Mackintosh (2-9) and Dom Evans (2-30) all picking up two wickets apiece in total plus two run-outs, the skipper was reasonably happy with the visitors’ 183-8. Melton then chased them down in 29 overs for the loss of 6 wickets, with Greenslade by far the biggest factor in that. As wickets fell at the other end and no batsmen scored more than Ben Mann’s 17, Greenslade reigned supreme before eventually falling lbw to Alex Payne leaving Waddell and Evans to hit the winning runs and take Melton into the top half of the Division 2 table.
The B Team lost an exciting game by 1 wicket with just 3 balls remaining against Hethersett & Tas Valley B at the UEA. Batting first on the difficult UEA wicket Melton were more than happy with their score of 195-7 built around half centuries from Matt Rushton (54) and Joe Bickel (53 not out) plus good contributions from Imaad Khalid (25), Corey Rushton (21) and Chris McKay (19). Al Watts (2-25) and Chris Bolderstone (2-28) were the most effective Tas bowlers with 2 wickets each. Tas then scored steadily in reply with opener Ian Harrison’s 66 in 69 balls the key innings. He was well supported by Dean Parfitt (29) and Tristan Henderson (38) but, as the visitors continued to chip away at the Melton score, wickets kept falling. Bickel took 2-41 and Fawad Kaiser 2-40 in their 10-over spells and Matt Rushton 3-26 while young James Alcock (2-21) returned to keep the pressure on the tail-end batsmen. Tas still needed 10 when the 8th wicket fell and, when Charlie English fell for 7, it left Lewis Keeley and last man Al Watts needing 2 for victory off the final over. Keeley saw his side home with a valuable 40-ball 14 not out.
Hethersett & Tas Valley completed a ‘double’ over Melton winning the battle between the clubs’ C Teams by 29 runs. A fine 87 from young Tas wicketkeeper Josh Hayes was the outstanding feature of the home side’s impressive total of 245-6 but Stuart Last (55) also hit a half-century and Martin Phillips 30. With some regulars forced to self-isolate because of Covid contact, Melton were short of bowling options but Jim Wimhurst (7-0-39-2), Paul Stevens (10-0-42-1) and Harry Ryan (9-1-40-2) all stepped up when needed. In reply Lee Whiddett (25) and Stevens (33) got Melton off to a steady start with a half-century partnership while Mark Hosmer hit some fine shots in his first half-century for the club. When he was out for 55, Harry Ryan (3) and Under 12, George Alcock (23 not out), continued the fight as Melton passed 200 although the home team’s score was just out of reach. The final 2 overs were played in torrential rain as father-and-son George and Martin Alcock stayed in the middle to complete the match and an unbroken partnership of 26. It was a first win of the season for Tas C with 2 wickets each for Sean Roberts (2-33) and Mark Worley (2-26).