Gristwood spell proves to be a game changer.
18 year old Nick Gristwood took 3 wickets in 2 overs to turn Great Melton's game at Swardeston “B” on its head – the home side were cruising at 63 for 0 after 16 overs in pursuit of Melton's total of 188 but Gristwood checked Swardeston's progress with his accuracy and excellent catching from his own bowling.
Earlier Melton were invited to bat and with their 3rd new opening partnership of the summer, George Bunn and Richard Wood put on 58 for the first wicket before Bunn miscued one to mid off and was caught for 16. Melton's progress was slow against disciplined bowling but with wickets in hand the opportunity to set a decent total on a wicket that showed some variable bounce was still on. Martyn Cook (19) promoted up the order, briefly looked as if he might take the game away from the home side with some trade mark lusty blows but like Bunn before him, he chipped the ball back to offer a simple catch. Wood on the other hand clinically built an innings on which other Melton batsman played around but with Allum (2) and Greenslade (7) going cheaply it wasn't until Matt Clarke arrived at the crease that Wood found someone to forge a partnership with. The pair put on 63 before Clarke was bowled for 22 – Wood followed shortly after for 83, an innings that featured 6 fours and a six and some late hitting from Marcus Godbold and Richard Waddell pushed the innings past the fourth batting point.
In reply Swardeston's openers of Jessup and Matt Hogg punished some loose bowling from Waddell and Greenslade and they brought a fifty partnership in just the 10th over. Things got worse for Melton too when Hogg was dropped twice in the slips from Mark Scott's bowling, but Greenslade made no such mistake when he held a sharp chance in the gulley to dismiss Jessup in Gristwood's 4th over. The tall seamer followed that up by removing Rob Ebbage with the very next delivery and then when he held a good low catch to dismiss Bridgestock too, Swardeston had slipped to 66 for 3. Ben Hogg and D Ebbage followed soon after, both wickets taken by Mark Scott, which proved to be the moment Swardeston gave up the chase and looked to bat for the draw.
The returning Greenslade who bowled with excellent pace, picked up the wicket of Croft and there was time for Daryl Godbold to remove Matt Hogg for 41 but Micklethwaite and Levison managed to survive the remaining overs to draw the match although Melton's strong bowling performance, led by Gristwood ensured the visitors took the lions share of the points.
Great Melton. (16 points)
R Wood ct D Ebbage b Levinson 83, G Bunn ct M Hogg b Horrex 16, M Cook c & b Olpin 19, D Allum ct D Ebbage b Olpin 2, C Greenslade ct R Ebbage b Horrex 7, M Clarke b Mickelthwaite 22, M Godbold not out 10, R Waddell not out 9. Extras 20. Total 188 for 6. (Micklethwaite 10-3-40-1, Levinson 11-1-44-1, Horrex 12-2-28-2, Olpin 9-1-50-2, Bridgestock 4-0-17-0)
Swardeston “B” (6 points)
M Hogg ct Clarke b D Godbold 41, S Jessup ct Greenslade b Gristwood 30, R Ebbage ct & b Gristwood 0, R Bridgestock ct & b Gristwood 3, B Hogg ct Allum b Scott 0, D Ebbage ct Gristwood b Scott 0, M Croft ct Allum b Greenslade 18, R Micklethwaite not out 18, A Levinson not out 4. Extras 32. Total 141 for 7. (Waddell 6-0-34-0, Greenslade 10-3-26-1, Gristwood 10-2-26-3, Scott 12-5-30-2, D Godbold 5-0-10-1, Bunn 3-0-7-0)