Great Melton’s roller coaster season continued as they followed up 2 decent results with a 5 wicket defeat to Fakenham “A” in a close match at Melton Park.
Melton lost the toss and were invited to bat and in the absence of key performer Richard Wood, George Bunn and Dave Allum opened the innings against accurate bowling from Burton and Marshall. Fakenham struck early removing Bunn (2) as for the second week in a row he chipped the ball and presented an easy catch and when former Norfolk player Ian Slegg had Allum (7) caught at the wicket, Melton were 20 for 2. Things got worse for the home side as a dreadful mix up between Chris Greenslade and Marcus Godbold saw the latter run out for 3 so at 33 for 3 Melton were in real trouble and in need of a partnership. Matt Clarke (44) and Greenslade batted sensibly to recover the innings adding 82 together – Greenslade (61) displayed maturity beyond his 15 years to register his maiden half century for the First X1 but both he and Clarke were dismissed in quick succession as the momentum swung back to the visitors. Martyn Cook (31) did his level best to get the innings back on track with some huge hits, one in particular cleared the wall at the dove cot end, but when he was stumped and then Slegg returned, the run rate dropped and against Slegg’s accurate bowling Melton struggled to reach the 200 that on a slow wicket was probably par.
Fakenham’s reply was slow and steady against some tight bowling from Waddell and Scott, but neither was able to make a breakthrough. Nigel Young making his league debut for the club got the breakthrough when he bowled Whitwood for 36 and then shortly after he had Piper well caught by Greenslade for 0. Young’s accuracy and movement proved difficult to play and the run rate dropped dramatically what with Nick Gristwood bowling a probing spell at the other end. Melton felt they had a further breakthrough when Gristwood had 2 strong shouts for lbw, but with each refused Fakenham’s steady progress towards the total with wickets in hand always meant that they had a platform from which to make a strong push for the win, and that is how it proved because despite needing 70 from the last 10 overs, Slegg and Marshall both played aggressively and struck the ball well to collect a number of telling boundaries. With 9 needed from the last over of the game and with 5 wickets in hand, Marshall was able to attack, which he did well to register 2 handsome boundaries to take his side to a well earned victory.
G Bunn ct b Burton 2, D Allum ct Hunt b Slegg 7, C Greenslade ct b Clarke 61, M Godbold run out 3, M Clarke b Lo 44, N Young ct b Clarke 2, M Cook stumped Hunt b Lo 31, R Waddell b Slegg 4, M Scott not out 10, D Godbold not out 5. Total 182 for 8 (Burton 8-1-24-1, Marshall 9-2-25-0, Slegg 11-2-38-2, Clarke 9-0-43-2, Lo 9-0-41-2)
B Whitwood b Young 36, C Crane b D Godbold 47, S Piper ct Greenslade b Young 0, A Merridith b D Godbold 34, M Burton ct Waddell b Scott 3, I Slegg not out 25, L Marshall not out 21. Total 185 for 5 (Waddell 6-0-20-0, Scott 11.4-3-50-1, Gristwood 9-2-23-0, Young 12-3-38-2, D Godbold 8-0-40-2)