Last Gasp Defeat Sees U13s Title Chance Slip Away
GREAT MELTON U13s lost to OLD BUCKENHAM U13s by 5 wickets at Old Buckenham Hall in the South Norfolk Community League
Great Melton U13s lost their top-of-the-table clash with Old Buckenham and, with it, the chance to win the South Norfolk Community League. As befitting a game involving two unbeaten sides it was a closely contested affair with the result in doubt until the final over but an excellent innings by Nathan Muggeridge plus a less technical but more aggressive knock from Tom Anderson just edged things in favour of Old Buckenham.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, Melton skipper Lohit Kannan and Joseph Graves made a confident start with Lohit hitting 25 before being caught and bowled. Ben Fletcher hit a quick 13 that included a six and a four and Graves was eventually dismissed for 12, both caught behind, but Harry Ryan (6 not out) and, in particular, Ben Johnson played well to push the score to 105-3 off 16 overs. Johnson was unbeaten on 23 at the end.
Johnson then struck with the ball, dismissing Reagan Meares for nought in his first over. With Joseph Graves then bowling Bucks skipper Finbar Morrison for 1, Melton very much had the upper hand. Muggeridge and Anderson were quick to punish any stray deliveries, though, and with the ‘extras' column boosted by a few too many byes and wides, Old Buckenham always retained a chance of victory. Mohit Badimela took the pace off the ball to bowl a tight penultimate over and when, first Anderson (33) and then Muggeridge (31) were forced to retire with only a handful of runs needed and just the last over to be bowled, Melton were probably still favourites to win. However, more extras and well-struck four from Fergus Morrison gave the home side a last-gasp victory.
Johnson (3-1-11-1) bowled well and was undoubtedly Melton's man-of-the-match but Henry Bugg only conceded 5 runs in his 2 overs. In the end the result hinged on Melton's inability to remove either Anderson or Muggeridge and the concession of too many extras, especially byes. With two games left, against Great Ellingham tonight (Thursday 17th) and Mulbarton next Tuesday (22nd), Melton now need two wins to finish runners-up and earn an invitation to the SNCL Carnival Cup Finals Day.
The team was: Lohit Kannan (Captain), Joseph Graves, Ben Johnson, Mohit Badimela, Henry Bugg, Ben Fletcher, Harry Ryan & Ryan Twiddy.