Great Melton A (22 Points) beat Brooke A (6) by 4 Wickets at Melton Park in Frankly Digital Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Five.
M Warner b Bettridge 6
S Cushing b Sims 45
M Carver Run Out (Sims) 29
P Daynes c & b Sims 11
S Pritty c Clarke b D Bunn 2
C Bennett Not Out 27
J Andrews lbw b Sims 0
R Hayman c J Whiddett b D Bunn 0
P Carver b Stearman 14
H Van Zentan c Clarke b G Bunn 8
A Westgate Not Out 3
Total (9 Wickets, 46 Overs) 150
I Bettridge 12-3-25-1, R Hayward 7-1-24-0, R Sims 12-4-36-3, D Bunn 9-3-27-2, G Bunn 4-0-23-1, P Stearman 2-0-13-1
Great Melton A:
J Whiddett c Westgate b Carver 33
M Bunn c Cushing b Hayman 22
M Clarke st Westgate b Bennett 30
L Whiddett c Daynes b Cushing 20
A Alborough c Warner b Pritty 20
P Stearman c Westgate b Pritty 2
G Bunn Not Out 13
D Bunn Not Out 1
Total (6 Wickets, 43.4 Overs) 153
S Pritty 12-3-31-2, H Van Zentan 6-1-27-0, R Hayman 4-0-18-1, M Warner 1-0-10-0, P Carver 7.4-2-33-1, C Bennett 10-2-28-1, S Cushing 3-2-2-1
Great Melton moved 20 points clear in the Division Five promotion places after an impressive victory over a strong Brooke side at Melton Park.
With heavy overnight rain the start was delayed for 30 minutes but Lee Whiddett won a crucial toss and consequently his bowlers were able to use the best of the conditions to bowl at Brooke’s powerhouse batting line-up.
Despite the tricky conditions, classy opener Simon Cushing looked in good touch, punishing anything full with his trademark straight and extra cover drives. However, Ian Bettridge and Ryan Hayward made life difficult for the batsmen and the former had M Warner (6) bowled with a peach of a delivery. With number 3 bat M Carver finding the going tough and the bowlers keeping things so tight, the score was just 68-1 from 23 overs.
After the break Cushing tried to up the tempo but needlessly ran out partner Carver for 29 as Rob Sims completed a short range direct hit. Sims then took the key wicket of Cushing for 45, bowling him round his legs, and then had Paul Daynes (11) caught and bowled. Those two key wickets from the wily slow bowler left Brooke 87-3 from 27 overs and thereafter Sims (3-36) strangled the Brooke middle order and with David Bunn (2-27) bowling with excellent control at the other end the scoring rate dropped. Only Bennett (27no) was able to make any further impression as Brooke stuttered to 150-9 from their allotted 46 overs.
The Melton reply got off to a cracking start with Martin Bunn and Jason Whiddett playing very positively, taking the score to 43-0 in 10 overs. It was when the Brooke slow bowlers, Carver and Bennett, came on that things became more difficult, pace off the ball on the slow wicket making scoring tricky. Bunn (22) holed out to long-on but Matt Clarke (30) continued the positive intent and he and Whiddett (33) took the score to 68 before the in-form opener played one too many cut shots and was caught behind.
Brother Lee Whiddett joined Clarke at the crease and with 83 runs needed from 29 overs overs the two batsmen looked to find the gaps. Clarke played the more expansive game and eventually was undone as he ran past a ball from the impressive Bennett giving Westgate an easy stumping. However, the 44 run partnership left Melton needing only 39 from 16 overs. Tony Alborough (20) continued the good work with Whiddett (20) who was beaten for pace by Simon Cushing (1-2) presenting an easy catch for opposite number Paul Daynes.
By that time Melton needed only 23 more runs but, after Paul Stearman (2) was dismissed, Alborough soon followed and the home side seemed to be making hard work of completing a fourth successive home win.
Fortunately the depth of the club came once again to the fore as George Bunn (13no) played a couple of fine drives to take his side to the brink of victory. With Dad David at the other end, Bunn completed the win with another classy stroke to take Melton home with 14 balls to spare.
The victory means that Melton now have a 20 point lead over 3rd placed Winterton, who are next up at Melton Park.