A Ton For Imaad in a WINless Weekend
Senior Weekend Round-Up: Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd August
In a winless weekend for Great Melton’s teams, the highlight was yet another century, this time by Imaad Khalid for the B Team. Centuries seem like buses at Melton – after waiting a while for one there have now been 4 all at once. Imaad’s 103 off 89 balls was an excellent knock – the 4th Melton ton in 5 weeks – and his opening partnership of 98 with Steve Clarke (25) got Melton off to a very good start against Division 3SE leaders, Great Ellingham. Woody Loines, Aidan Brand and Chris McKay all chipped-in 18 runs apiece as Melton reached a promising 211-5 off 35 overs but it was all in vain as one of the forecast downpours hit Ellingham and the match was abandoned.
The other three Saturday games were completed but all resulted in defeats. The 1st Team, minus the Greenslade brothers and Dom Evans who were at the 100 Final, lost to Norwich A who scored 202-5 off their 40 overs thanks largely to George Bowman’s unbeaten 51, 40 from Joe Lovick and 45 not out from skipper James Bradford. Steve Cadge (1-38), Rich Waddell (1-26) and Ben Mann (1-45) plus run-outs by Nick Aston and Matt Clarke accounted for the wickets. Melton’s reply followed a familiar pattern as they slumped to 33-3. Nick (28) and Connor Stearman (26) took the score to 84 before another flurry of wickets saw Melton reduced to 103-6. Martyn Cook added 40 and, with Rich Waddell at the wicket Melton still looked in with a chance. His dismissal for 31 ended that and, despite a bit of resistance from youngsters Rob Mackintosh and Joseph Graves, Melton were all out for 184 and lost by 18 runs.
The A Team’s long unbeaten run came to an end at third-placed Old Catton where the home side’s 198-6 proved to be enough. Wickets for the Westons, Dale (1-25) and Kyle (1-30) and Matt Rushton (2-35), plus a run out meant that things looked promising for Melton despite 25 from Giles Pickett, 29 from Ryan Turner and 34 from Michael Hall but man-of-the-match Deane Anderton’s arrival at the crease changed that. Dealing mainly in boundaries – 6 sixes and 2 fours, Anderton hit a quick 69 that took the score to almost 200. Anderton then removed Jon Ellse for 10 and Matt Rushton for a duck and, with Richard Wood, also dismissed for just 3, Melton faced an uphill struggle. Sam Mann with 29 and Kyle Weston’s maiden half-century kept Melton in touching distance but wickets kept falling and Melton were bowled out for 159 in the 39th over still 39 runs short.
The C Team and visitors New Buckenham took a gamble that the weather forecast would be correct and agreed to reduce their match to 25 overs in order to complete it. Having asked the visitors to bat first, skipper Duncan Greenslade was happy with his bowlers who restricted them to 113-7. Martyn Alcock led the way with 3-20 off his 5 overs but there were good 5-over spells from Jim Wimhurst (1-20), Alice Greenslade (0-17), and Harrison Cunningham (1-22) plus a wicket for Paul Stevens (1-17). Ashley Ling, with 33, and Nick Clarke, with 34, were the only New Bucks batsmen to make double figures but the innings was notable for some good running between the wickets and this, in the end, proved the difference between the sides. Despite Paul Stevens’ 35 and useful contributions from Steve Phoenix (19) and Harry Ryan (25 not out), good bowling, notably by Peter Marshall (5-2-9-1) and Dave Smith (5-1-12-2), saw Melton’s run chase falter and they finished 6 runs short on 107-5.
The Sunday side made it a clean sweep of defeats losing by 17 runs at North Runcton. The home side elected to bat first and, after 34 from Sherry Phoenix, a middle -order partnership between captain, Ben Skipper (68) and Sam Phillips (77) enabled Runton to post 226-7 off their 40 overs. Spinners Sam Mann (8-1-37-3) and Corey Rushton (4-0-26-2) were the most successful bowlers, picking up 5 of the 7 wickets to fall. In the spirit of ‘Sunday funday’ cricket, Melton held back some of their more experienced batters in order to give some of their younger players some time in the middle and Rob Mackintosh benefitted the most, scoring 44. The best innings, though came from Dom Evans whose 85 was his highest score in what has been a good first season with the club. Steve Cadge (16), Ben (13) and Sam Mann (14) chipped in with a few runs but Melton’s spirited reply wasn’t enough to bring victory. Michael Crisp (2-29), Will Lanfer (2-47) and Skipper (2-36) picked up two wickets each as Melton finished on 206-7. The Sunday side (pictured) were all smiles despite their defeat.
Despite Manager Trish Ellse’s best efforts Melton Ladies had another blank weekend with opposing teams calling off. The Women’s softball tournament was cancelled followed by Brisley conceding because they were unable to raise a team. It’s been a familiar tale and has proved frustrating for the Melton girls.