Strength in depth the key at Acle
The first X1’s fine start to the season continued with a comfortable 5 wicket win away to Acle ‘A’ in Division 3 of the Alliance. Invited to field first, Melton made 7 changes to the team that beat North Runcton ‘A’ the week before and both Acle openers rode their luck early on against Hubbard and Scott in an opening stand worth 46. Hubbard made the breakthrough having the aggressive Adams caught well by Chris McKay in the gully and when the same bowler accounted for Ames, the home side had slipped to 51 for 2.
The introduction of Ollie Harris stemmed the flow of runs – bowling with good variety and accuracy he caused problems for all the batsman; both Tovell and Ward perished to juggled catches from Harris and only Vince Cox showed any real resistance as he struck some powerful drives to try and push his side towards a defendable total. Melton though were content to set the field back for Cox and work on the less accomplished Acle batsman and with leg spinner Bunn finding some turn, his 3 quick wickets shifted the momentum firmly towards the visitors and when Harris returned for a solitary over, his double wicket maiden wrapped up the innings.
In reply Richard Wood and David Bunn made a solid start putting on 29 for the first wicket until Bunn was bowled by Barnham for 8. 15 year old George King playing only his second game for Melton’s first X1 batted at 3 and together with Wood built a second wicket partnership of 81 that took the game right away from Acle – King looked assured and played several strong drives down the ground before he was rather unluckily bowled off his pads for 24 – Wood continued and notched up yet another half century for Melton and although he was caught at cover for 58, a very brisk 41 not out from Martyn Cook that featured 7 boundaries saw Melton canter to victory in just the 31st over.
Adams ct Mckay b Hubbard 32, Tovell ct. G Bunn b Harris 36, Ames ct Wood b Hubbard 0, Ward ct Wood b Harris 7, Cox not out 42, Tooley b G Bunn 3, Handley ct Woods b G Bunn 0, Webster ct Stearman by G Bunn 2, Barnham b Harris 4, King b Harris 0. Total 151 all out (N Hubbard 10-1-43-2, M Scott 5-2-19-0, Harris 12-7-20-4, D Bunn 6-2-22-0, P Stearman 6-1-15-0, G Bunn 5-0-27-3
R Wood ct Ames b Webster 58, D Bunn b Barnham 8, G King b Webster 24, M Cook not out 41, P Stearman ct Tovell b Cox 5, G Bunn not out 0. Total 155 for 4 (C Barnham 11-2-35-1, M Handley 7-0-26-0, D Ward 7-0-45-0, J Webster 6-0-41-2, V Cox 1-0-1-1)