It’s a Cruel Game….
Great Melton (7) lost to Caister (20) by 3 Wickets in Norfolk League Division 2.
Great Melton B travelled to Caister hoping the weather would hold to try and avenge the previous weeks last over defeat and having travelled through torrential rain on route hopes weren’t high, but arriving in Caister were greeted by glorious sunshine and very little surface water around.
Going to the middle Tim Hales was looking to get back on track with calling correctly unfortunately he lost his second successive toss and was invited to bat first on the suspect looking wicket by Caister skipper M. Church.
After 4 overs the visitors were in a mess having lost both openers Chris Elliott and Woody Loines with the score at 7-2. Hales was joined at the crease by the returning Eusha Fawad from university but the latter’s stay was short as he miscued a shot and was caught for 1.
Tim Goff then strode to the crease to make his long awaited first appearance for the club and with Hales the pair set about rebuilding the innings batting sensibly and waiting to pick off any bad balls which came along regularly.
With the scoreboard ticking along nicely Hales looked to go over the top but didn’t quite get the elevation and picked out the man at mid-off for 28. Nick Mackenzie joined Goff at the crease and looked to get some time in the middle and end his bad run of luck with stunning catches being his down fall in recent weeks.
Playing aggressively to the spinner A. Myhill he raced to 10 quickly with Goff watchful at the other end the momentum started to go in favour of the visitors but then at the wrong time Mackenzie was again caught brilliantly on the boundary for 17 leaving the score on 75-5.
Fawad Kaiser was bright and breezy once again but failed to hang around long enough scoring 12 which brought Neal Clarke to the middle and with Goff looked to shift the game in favour of Melton.
Watchful at first and picking of singles where they came they kept the rate ticking at around 4 an over then looking to push on the pair added 38 in 8 over before Goff fell for an excellent 47 on debut looking accomplished and positive in his stroke play will certainly be a good asset to the team.
Clarke then looked to push on with the tail as Alex Tonnison (9) and Kyle Mason (13) scored aggressively against the slow bowler R. Stokes hitting several boundaries pushing the score up to their highest of the season of 171.
In reply Caister were watchful at first against the ever reliable Gary Coulson probing away around off stump with a little bit of movement and whilst Mackenzie initially struggled with his line to left and right hand combination he showed a lot of aggression.
It took Melton until the 8th over to strike as P. Brown was excellently caught at Gully by Neal Clarke off Coulson for 16. Mackenzie then struck in his next over bowling A. Myhill for 1 which he clearly enjoyed after getting a send-off from the left arm slow bowler earlier in the game.
Coulson then got and uncustomary bit of tap for a couple of overs before getting his revenge with “the ball of century” which swung in to the right hander then jagged off the seam to bowl him on the top of off stump for 14.
Mackenzie was then replaced by spin bowler Clarke who first up bowled a “Jaffa” to the left hander Stokes turning one away from him almost taking the outside edge. The next over he should have had Stokes caught at midwicket as he bowled a slight shorter ball and stoke skewed it up to Woody Loines who spilled a simple catch and gave the left hander a life.
With Fawad Kaiser coming on a t he other end the tightened the screw pushing the rate up and up towards 6 an over picking up the odd wicket but not enough sop Hales changed things around bringing Mackenzie back to replace Clarke.
Mackenzie got into his stride quickly and bowled quick an straight and neither batsmen could score easily with Kaiser bowling tightly at the other end then came the breakthrough in his 11th over picking up 2 wickets in 2 balls removing the dangerous M. Church and M. Hewitt first ball and it looked as though the visitors luck was about to change as the rate was up at 6 nan over and with only 3 wickets remaining the odds were in Melton’s Favour.
Kyle Mason replaced Kaiser to bowl at the death and he bowled a very tidy spell but unluckily for the away team victory was about to be snatched away from them in the cruellest manner for the third time this season.
Starting his final over Mackenzie’s first 3 balls went for 1 run then his 4th was slightly short of a length which J. Clarke picked up on and smashed over midwicket for 6. This swung match in favour of the home side but Mason bowled an excellent last over and took it to the wire.
The first 2 balls were not scored off then the hosts scampered a single to leave them needing 4 runs off 2 balls, Mason bowled a wide which they ran on leaving them needing 2 off 2. The next ball bowled went past the outside edge of R. Stokes bat, who by now had passed his half century, which left 2 needed off the last ball Mason pithed it up and Stokes chipped it agonisingly over the head of Tonnison at mid-wicket to come back for the 2 required.
Two weeks running Melton B have had victory snatch away from them with 3 off their games so far this season decided in the last over it’s a cruel way to lose a game of cricket but if they carry on with the same spirit and enthusiasm in the weeks to come their luck will change.
Gt. Melton Innings.
C. Elliott b. Oxborough 2, D. Loines b. Hewitt 5, T. Hales ct Tennant b. Myhill 28, E. Fawad ct Tennant b. Hewitt 1, T. Goff ct Church b. Stokes 47, N. Mackenzie ct Brown b. Myhill 17, F. Kaiser ct Brown b. Myhill 12, N. Clarke st. Church b. Stokes 26, A. Tonnison ct Myhill b. Hewitt 9, K. Mason ct Clarke b Stokes 13, G. Coulson 1*. TOTAL 171 all out (10 extras). M. Hewitt 10-0-37-3, T. Oxbrough 12-2-28-1, A. Myhill 12-2-41-3, J. Colk 4-0-26-0, R. Stokes 5.5-0-32-3.
R. Stokes 72*, P. Brown ct Clarke b. Coulson 16, A. Myhill b. Mackenzie 1, R. Brown b. Coulson 14, T. Oxborough ct Mackenzie b. Coulson 5, C. Tennant ct E. Fawad b. Kaiser 6, M. Church b Mackenzie 31, M. Hewitt b. Mackenzie 0, J. Clarke 9*. TOTAL 172-7(19 extras). G. Coulson 12-4-35-3, N. Mackenzie 12-1-49-3, N. Clarke 10-1-35-0, F. Kaiser 7-2-15-1, K. Mason 4-0-23-0