Sims stars as Melton A close in on promotion rivals
Great Melton A (21 Points) beat Kirkley & Lowestoft Railway (1) by 9 wickets at Melton Park in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
Great Melton continued their excellent recent record as, despite retaining only 5 players from the previous week's winning draw at Narborough, they comfortably saw off Kirkley & Lowestoft Railway at Melton Park.
Winning a useful toss following heavy midweek rain and morning showers, Lee Whiddett inserted the opposition. Conditions clearly favoured Melton's slow-paced bowling attack as the home side started with 3 maidens. Gary Coulson broke through in the 7th over when R Guy (0), frustrated by the evergreen's nagging line, hit one up in the air and was caught by George Ducker at extra cover. Michael Farmer, despite bowling 9 wides, always threatened when he did get the ball in the right areas and he picked up the key wicket of C Guy (9) when he pulled a ball straight to Chris McKay at mid-wicket.
When Farmer completed his spell, Whiddett brought himself on and he and Coulson (12-3-25-2) suffocated the opposition who could only move from 20-2 from 10 overs to 51-3 from 23 overs, as Coulson caught and bowled Hayes for 6.
Rob Sims came on at that point and wickets began to tumble. The wily spinner had Snell (15) chip a ball to Coulson and then Whiddett had Rix (10) hit a ball straight to his brother Jason positioned on the drive as the skipper produced figures of 12-3-17-1. Sims then ran through the lower order as Melton held all of the regulation chances that went their way, with further snaffles going to Ducker, Farmer and Coulson. When Sims trapped Meadows (7) lbw in the 45th over, Kirkley were all out for 105 and Sims (10.4-0-20-6) had his second ‘fifer' of the season.
The Melton reply started solidly with only 7 runs from the first 6 overs but from there Martin Bunn opened up to smash three boundaries. Bunn now looks in excellent touch, driving imperiously at times and adding 34 runs in 4 overs to take the score to 42-0 from 10. Jason Whiddett, though more circumspect, never looked in any trouble and they made serene progress, although Kirkley did miss a couple of regulation catch opportunities provided by both batsmen. Bunn passed his half-century and was finally out with Melton 7 runs short of victory for a well-made 64 including 9 fours and a six. Whiddett remained unbeaten on 35 as Melton wrapped up victory in just 23 overs.
Winterton's win at Thetford condenses the top of the table, and with Melton visiting both of those clubs in the next two weeks this promises to be a pivotal period, with Melton just 13 points off second place.
Kirkley & Lowestoft Railway:
R Guy c Ducker b Coulson 0
C Guy c McKay b Farmer 9
M Hayes c & b Coulson 6
F Patten c Bunn b Sims 28
D Snell c Coulson b Sims 15
C Rix c J Whiddett b L Whiddett 10
D Hayes c Ducker b Sims 2
C Meadows lbw b Sims 7
K Barnard c Farmer b Sims 3
N Critoph c Coulson b Sims 0
S Howes Not Out 3
Extras 22 (15w, 1nb, 5b, 1lb)
Total (All Out, 44.4 Overs) 105
G Coulson 12-3-25-2, M Farmer 6-1-21-1, L Whiddett 12-3-17-1, R Sims 10.4-0-20-6, C McKay 4-0-11-0
Great Melton A:
J Whiddett Not Out 35
M Bunn c Hayes b Barnard 64
D Loines Not Out 0
Extras 9 (8w, 1nb)
Total (1 Wicket, 23 Overs) 108
M Hayes 4-2-16-0, S Howes 4-0-10-0, C Guy 5-1-24-0, F Patten 1-0-15-0, G Meadows 5-0-23-0, R Guy 3-0-15-0, K Barnard 1-0-5-1