Late Batting Antics Only Bright Note in Defeat
Great Melton (8) lost to Swardeston (20) by 111 runs in the Mid-Norfolk League Shield Premier division.
Great Melton travelled to Hilltops looking to add another win to their previous triumph the week before, unfortunately they followed their best performance the week before with their worst of the season.
Winning the toss Swardeston opted to bat first on a hard batting track, opening the bowling for the visitors were Darshan Rai and Chris Greenslade and they kept things tight for the first few overs with the Swardeston openers getting themselves in and going at less than 3 an over.
Rai conceded 14 in his 6th over which set the shackles loose and runs started to haemorrhage at both ends and with a lot of uncharacteristic midfields aiding the Swardeston cause it looked as though Melton would be chasing a sizeable total.
The hosts hundred came up in only the 17th over as well as the breakthrough wicket as Michael Farmer got one to jag back and bowl C. Taylor for an impressive 63.
J. Reynolds continued the onslaught as the hosts passed 200 with 7 overs still remaining, there was only a brief let up when firstly Lee Whiddett and then skipper George Bunn took a wicket each at the end of the innings but the hosts still posted a touch total of 269-4.
The Melton reply got off to a slow start and they lost their first wicket in the 5th over to leave the score on 11-1, Greenslade and Cook then built a Steady partnership before the former was caught driving on the up a few overs later.
What then followed was disastrous as first Martyn Cook was run out by Jonathan Ellse then the very next ball Ellse was bowled for a duck to leave the visitors on 43-4 with all top four batsmen back in the pavilion.
By now the game had effectively gone as G. Bunn and L. Whiddett had to re-build again. Putting on 74 for the 5th wicket the score was a little more respectable, Bunn fell with the score on 117 for the highest score of the innings with 38 and Whiddett followed soon after off a brilliant slip catch from C. Taylor. Now the game was all over bar the shouting and Melton were just trying to get up to maximum batting points.
George Ducker and Neal Clarke batted well together to edge the visitors towards the total of 150 and looking in no trouble Ducker was caught with the score on 142 so Clarke took it upon himself to get to the 150 and to entertain the crowd and the Swardeston fielders who had been badgering him to do so.
So when Ben Hogg floated up another inviting delivery, Clarke smashed it back over his head for six followed by a high five with Swardeston wicketkeeper Ben Shearing to earn him a 20p fine for overacting!!
Unfortunately, overall, it was a day to forget for the visiting side and hopefully they will bounce back with a much improved performance in two weeks’ time.
J. Taylor st Ducker b. Whiddett 74, C. Taylor b. Farmer 63, J. Reynolds 62*, L. Denmark st Ducker b. Bunn 36, D. Martin ct Clarke b. Whiddett 3, B. Hogg run out 0, A. Bilham 13*. TOTAL 269-4 (13 Extras). D. Rai 6-2-34-0, C. Greenslade 7-0-46-0, M. Farmer 7-0-40-1, J. Bickel 5-0-30-0, L. Whiddett 8-0-59-2, N. Clarke 5-0-40-0, G. Bunn 2-0-12-1.
Great Melton Innings.
C. Greenslade ct Bilham b. Thelwell 15, S. Wooldridge b. Thelwell 0, M. Cook run out 17, J. Ellse b. Bilham 0, G. Bunn ct Taylor b. Thatcher 38, L. Whiddett ct Thatcher b. Bilham 21, G. Ducker ct Timmins b. Hogg 15, N. Clarke 24*, M. Farmer ct Thelwell b. Hogg 1. TOTAL 158-8 (27 Extras). S. Thelwell 10-4-31-2, J. Timmins 10-1-37-0, A. Bilham 10-2-26-2, J. Thatcher 7-0-25-1, B. Hogg 3-0-20-2.