Oh its a long walk to the middle at Drayton and once Tim Hales had got there he won the toss and asked Drayton to bat.
Gary Coulson opened up with Nav Sharma and both bowled very mean opening spells combinating in Drayton only having 33 on the board after 15 overs. Coulson having opener Wright caught well by Woody Loines at mid off for 7. James Kay arrived at the crease and looked intent from the start to play his shots against change bowlers Rob Smith and Kyle Mason.
With the batsmen getting settled in, a change to spin and take the pace off the ball was adopted. Neal Clarke got the ball to turn and bowled some absolute Jaffa’s and Fawad Kaiser bowled his usual splendid line and length who did have Hunt excellently stumped by Joey Greenslade after opener Hawes perished to the second spell of Sharma. Drayton continued to push but the final five overs the runs were stemmed very well by the bowling of Fawad, Sharma and good Melton fielding. Kay finishing on 64 no and Drayton 183 for 3. A bit of disappointment from the Melton team in thinking that they could’ve taken more wickets but it was felt that 183 was a very gettable target.
Great Melton opened their innings with Chris Elliott and Joey Greenslade knowing that if a good solid base was laid for the innings, the long Melton batting lineup would have every opportunity to prevail. The openers settled in nicely and it was a surprise that Greenslade played inside a ball and was bowled.
Loines joined Elliott for a brief period before getting out. Jon Moxon scored how we all know he can, four fours before skying a top edge and being caught trying to push the score along. Elliott still at the crease looking for a partner to stick around with him. Fawad was looking like the man likely to hang around. He looked very comfortable pushing the ball and still hitting the ball a long way before edging the ball behind. Neal Clarke looked equally as comfortable but unfortunately it was Elliott who looked to work the ball on the leg side that sat up in the pitch and chipped that ball to mid wicket.
Rob Smith had a brief spell at the crease before getting out and after Clarke had gone for a big shot, dropped and then run out, Sharma and Hales joined each other looking for singles and boundaries on the bad ball. Hales caught on the long straight boundary using Greenslade’s bat after his own had broken in half; an amusing champagne moment. At this point Sharma was looking to hit boundaries to win and after landing some huge sixes a target that seemed just that little bit out of reach was very close.
Clever running by Kyle Mason and Gary Coulson to keep Sharma on strike led to an exciting climax in the final over. After another six from Sharma the target was eight from three balls. Sharma was unfortunately bowled with two balls left leaving Melton short by eight runs. A heroic effort from Nav Sharma who very nearly got the team over the line. Melton will hope to take this momentum forward into the season and use it positively.
P. Wright ct Loines b. Coulson 7, A. Howes b Sharma 83, J. Kay 64*, K. Hunt st Greenslade b. Kaiser 2, Rrihari 1*. TOTAL 183-3 (25 Extras). G. Coulson 10-4-25-1, N. Sharma 12-2-41-1, R. Smith 5-0-25-0, K. Mason 4-0-13-0, N. Clarke 5-0-26-0, F. Kaiser 9-1-44-1.
Great Melton Innings.
C. Elliott ct Srihari b. Ravi 33, J. Greenslade b. Pointer 15, D. Loines b. Laxmanan 0, J. Moxon ct Kay b. Srihari 16, F. Kaiser ct Chamberlain b. Srihari 20, N. Clarke run out 8, R. Smith ct Springhall b. Srihari 1, N. Sharma b. Pointer 40, T. Hales ct Kay b. Ravi 6, K. Mason run out 3, G. Coulson 3*. TOTAL 176-10 (31 Extras). R. Pointer 11.4-3-35-2, D. Sprinhall 5-1-16-0, Laxmanan 3-0-21-1, Srihari 12-1-29-4, Ravi 11-1-41-2, J. Kay 2-0-19-0