Melton Sweat in the afternoon sun
13/7/2013 – Great Melton 1st XI vs Norwich A
Melton Park was basking in sunshine as Norwich A skipper Tom Vaughan correctly called Heads at the toss, as the Melton skippers heart sank at the thought of bowling in the high 20 degree heat on what appeared to be a hard and dry wicket, Vaughan surprisingly chose to bowl first.
Melton made a positive start with Whiddett and Greenslade putting anything with width away to the boundary and aided by a considerable amount of extras made serene progress to 54-0 after 11 overs. Greenslade was then out caught and bowled for 28 in the 12th over, checking a shot that had previously brought him 4 runs back over the bowlers head. Matt Clarke and Whiddett then progressed the score with relative ease to 114 after 26 overs, with Whiddett depositing Sexton into the cowfield at the pavilion end with a wonderful straight 6 before being unfortunately run out backing up for 47. The returning Richard Wood then joined Clarke at the wicket moving the score to 135 before Clarke, succumbing to the heat and tiredness, was out bowled for 32.
Marcus Godbold joined Woody at the crease and the 4th wicket pair built an excellent partnership following a nervy start with some questionable running between the wickets. The pair batted together to the end of the innings, with their complementary styles rotating the strike well whilst putting any lose deliveries to the boundary. Godbold brought his half century up in fine style with a straight 6 off the bowling of Booth and continued to mix positive running with hitting boundaries until he was caught on the fence off the final ball of the Melton innings, finishing with 71. Woody carrying his bat for a well crafted 46 and Melton finishing with 255-4 from their 46 overs.
Taking the field, Melton were under no illusion of how difficult it could be to take 10 wickets on what was a decent batting pitch, with very little swing or seam movement. Norwich openers started steadily moving before Waddell removed Smith in the 6th over, bowled for 3. Mishra Joined Clarke in the middle however Waddell struck again in the 8th over removing the dangerous looking Clarke for 19, caught well at square leg by Cook.
With the ball offering a small amount of swing the skipper removed himself from the attack hoping that Scott would capitalise on 2 new batsmen being at the crease and a small amount of swing available. Scott and Pask bowled tidily without reward until Norwich Skipper Vaughan looked to work a straight delivery through midwicket and was bowled for 3 by Scott when the score was 63. Sims replaced the economical Pask in the 13th over and this seemed to be the que for Mishra to open up and play more aggressively taking Sims for 16 off his first 2 overs and also tucking in to Scott, increasing the scoring rate and putting the pressure back onto the home side. With the score 76 Mishra tried to come down the wicket one to many times off the bowling of Sims and was stumped for 40 in the 21st over.
A double change in the bowling in the 28th and 29th overs saw Harris and Greenslade introduced following a period of sensible batting from the Norwich middle order. Both bowled economically but failed to find a breakthrough until the 36th over when Lear was bowled by Greenslade for 31 with score on 145.
This seemed to signal a change in approach by Norwich who batted aggressively with the dangerous Rashid joining the experienced Goodrum looking to take Norwich towards the 200 mark and the maximum batting points. Rashid signalled his intent immediately hitting 3 boundaries before losing his off stump to Greenslade. Norwich continued to play aggressively, Sexton in particular punishing anything wide or legside and playing some innovative shots had the field spread as the home team tried to prevent Norwich moving to the 230 mark for a 90% draw however the Melton attack were unable to prevent Norwich passing the 90% target and with 2 overs to spare, the overall 255 target looked in danger. However the returning Pask ensured the Melton target was safe, removing Sexton then Goodrum in his final over, bowling Sexton for a brisk 48 and Goodrum for a classy 57 leaving the visitors on 239-8 from their 46 overs.
In a game that in the end seemed to fit in with the roller coaster ride of the 1st ashes test at Trent bridge (particularly the when Melton were in the field), a 90% draw seemed a fair result however had Melton been a little more clinical in the field following a superb batting display, we could and possibly should have seen Norwich off before they got so close.
Great Melton 255-4 (15Pts)
Greenslade Ct & Bld Booth 28, Whiddett Run Out 47, Clarke Bowled 32, Wood 46 Not out, Godbold Ct Mishra Bld Booth 71 (Extras 31).
Rashid 0-55, Booth 2-64, Key 0-26, Syas 0-25, Sexton 1-51, Mohammed 0-22.
Norwich A 239-8 (11pts)
Smith Bowled Waddell 3, Clarke Ct Cook Bowled Waddell 19, Mishra St Wood Bowled Sims 40, Vaughan Bowled Scott 2, Goodrum Bowled Pask 57, Lear Bowled Greenslade 31, Rashid Bowled Greenslade 12, Sexton Bowled Pask 48, Syath Not out 1, Key Not Out 1. (Extras 26).
Waddell 2-39, Pask 2-37, Scott 1-32, Harris 0-21, Greenslade 2-31, Sims 1-61.