Mellis (26 points) beat Great Melton C (3 points) by 242 runs at Thornham Parva in the Norfolk League Division 4SW
On a weekend in which all four Melton teams struggled with selection, it was arguably the Cs who were hit the hardest, lacking considerably in bowling experience. With a maiden century for Thomas Ridley (116 n.o.) and an impressive 98 for Adam Williamson, Mellis thrashed the ball to all parts of the ground – setting a total of 359-3, which was always going to be way too many for the deflated C team.
Situated in the middle of a small forest in the north of Suffolk, the Thornham Parva Cricket Ground was a beautiful sight at 1p.m. for the away team. It was warm, sunny, the outfield was rock hard and the pitch looked a road. Melton lost the toss and were unsurprisingly fielding first. Matt Rennie and Josh Wright took the new ball and neither were able to capitalise early on. Rennie created the first chance of the day, but the thin edge was put down, proving to be an omen for what was to come. Mellis openers Ben Box (27) and Tom Saunderson (37) put on an opening stand of 65 and it was the golden arm of skipper Clive Rennie that found the timber of both batsmen, leaving Mellis 68-2 in the 19th over.
After a tough start to the afternoon, Melton had their tails up with two new batsmen in the middle. However, both Thomas Ridley and Adam Williamson looked accomplished from the get-go and would go on to put on a formidable partnership of 139. Williamson in particular looked solid from the start (despite a feathered outside edge being put down early on in his innings), shifting through the gears quickly and it seemed no matter where the bowlers set their field, Williamson was able to find the gaps. With an unforgivingly dry outfield and lacklustre fielding from all eleven players, boundaries were flowing all around the ground. However, Josh Wright managed to sneak a straight one through the defence of Williamson and he was sent back to the pavilion two runs short of a ton in the 33rd over. Chris Farrant joined the set Ridley and Melton chased leather for the rest of the innings. Ridley brought up his century with a simple single on the leg-side and a downbeat Melton side were set a target of 360 runs.
Despite an impressive batting performance the previous week, Melton were not able to build any partnerships. The weather did play its part, with intermittent heavy showers occurring throughout the afternoon and the outfield and pitch was a completely different challenge for the team batting second. With a lot of inexperienced players in the squad, if Melton were to have any chance of getting anywhere near the required total the top order would have to score big. It was not to be as Jamie Dutton (1) was bowled to an inswinging yorker in the 6th over, Steve Phoenix (5) chipped a tame drive to mid-on in the 13th, Pete Hunt (2) deserted his crease in the 15th and Duncan Greenslade (12) was trapped LBW in over nineteen.
Melton were 49-4 and playing only for pride. Matt Rennie, confident after a brilliant knock at Town Close the previous week, joined opener Chris Elliot in the middle and despite the cascading rain, provided some well-needed impetus. Elliot was eventually bowled by Andy Smith for 26 and gave free-rein to Rennie (41), who hit some brilliant shots around the ground hitting nine boundaries. His fun was put to an end by an Andy Williamson catch off the bowling of Smith and the tail was cleaned up cheaply, with the assistance of some questionable running calls. The reply was timid but the Mellis players were grateful of the Melton players who were willing to keep the game going in terrible conditions. Mellis were clear and deserved winners and the Cs now have some food for thought ahead of their next game to now table-topping Hingham.
B. Box b C. Rennie 27; T. Saunderson b C. Rennie 37; T. Ridley not out 116; A. Williamson b J. Wright 98; C. Farrant not out 63; Extras b (1), lb (9), w (8) 18. Total 359-3 (M. Rennie 10-1-62-0; J. Wright 10-1-76-1; C. Elliot 7-0-39-0; C. Rennie 10-0-77-2; D. Greenslade 7-0-77-0; R. Kannan 1-0-18-0)
Great Melton C
C. Elliot b A. Smith 26; J. Dutton b M. Prior 1; S. Phoenix ct. C. Farrant b C. Partridge 5; P. Hunt st. K. Arnold b C. Partridge 2; D. Greenslade lbw b C. Partridge 12; M. Rennie ct. A. Williamson b A. Smith 41; L. Kannan run out C. Farrant 4; J. Wright ct. B. Box b P. Tomson 7; C. Rennie run out C. Farrant 3; B. Greenslade ct. T. Ridley b N. Spence 1; K. Wilkinson-Loines not out 0; Extras b (4), w (10), nb (1) 18. Total 117 all out (C. Partridge 10-1-24-3; M. Prior 8-0-25-1; N. Spence 6.1-0-16-1; A. Smith 9-4-21-2; P. Tomson 6-1-26-1)