Lack of bowling costs Melton A dear.
The story of Melton A's season is becoming one of being either a batsman or a bowler light most weeks. That particular mould was broken this week when a paucity of bowling options throughout all 4 teams left the A's at least 2 bowlers light.
The batting line up was a different story however, so with that in mind the home side opted to bat first on a typically flat looking surface at Melton Park with a view to setting an imposing total that they could defend. Those plans suffered an early setback when Loines departed for a duck, but Tim Hales & Lee Whiddett rebuilt the innings steadily until Whiddett departed for 34. Hales made 52, Sam Mann 27 and Martin Bunn 35 through the middle of innings with Jack Pearse striking a classy unbeaten 47 towards the end, but despite good starts, one 0f the top order needed to post a big score to get Melton to the sort of unassailable total they were looking for rather than the about par 240 they did manage. Having said that, they were not unhappy at the break.
Bowlers Kyle Mason & youngster Matt Rennie, making his Alliance debut, bowled excellent miserly spells at the Sheringham opening batsmen, barely conceding a run and after 12 overs the home side were very much in the game. Once they had been seen off however it was over to the occasional part-timers to bowl the bulk of the middle overs. Although boundaries were still hard to come by the Sheringham batsmen, King in particular, batted sensibly in taking the ones & twos on offer to keep the board ticking. Wily left-armer Rob Sims came into the attack but could not quite repeat his heroics from the week before and although he did finally remove King for a very well constructed 93, Sheringham had upped the rate & were very much in the box seat by that stage.
With the game slipping away, Melton skipper Woods gambled in bringing Rennie back into the attack an over or two before he would have liked which left bowling the penultimate over to the unfortunate George Ducker with 15 runs still required. With wickets in hand, Sheringham's number 6 Shane Cox could afford to chance his arm, which he duly did to devastating effect by smashing two sixes and a four to give the visitors a deserved victory with an over to spare.
This and other results leaves Melton A bottom of the Division Four table, but with 5 games to go there are only 21 points separating the bottom 5 sides, so it is still very much all to play for. With some big games coming up our chances of survival will rely very much on good availability of the players in the top two Melton sides for the run in….