Ton-Up Chris Starts with a Bang!
Senior Round-Up (Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th April)
With Covid restrictions released and the go-ahead given to play cricket again, there is plenty of enthusiasm for a return to action at Great Melton. The first week of Junior Coaching attracted 91 youngsters spread over 3 evenings and, after several outdoor nets and an in-club practice match, the seniors were back in action with friendlies against Brooke and Eaton, plus a Mid-Norfolk Sunday League opener at home to Swaffham.
Chris Greenslade certainly marked his return to Melton after several years in London in some style scoring 116 in 96 balls at Brooke House Park. His knock, which contained 20 fours enabled Melton to total an impressive 265-8 in their 40 overs. Joe Barker, with 53 and Martyn Cook (36), another who has come back from a sojourn away from Norfolk, also showed good early-season form. Jonathan Spinks was the most successful Brooke bowler with 3-44. With Aslam Mohammed and Tom Grant having moved to other clubs and Luke Marchant working in Leeds, bowling is likely to be the first team’s Achilles heel but Nick Mackenzie showed how valuable he will be on the weekends when job commitments allow him to play, taking 4-16 from 8 overs, including the vital wicket of Nishant Murria for 87, as Brooke were dismissed for 176. The two Joes, Bickel and Greenslade, accounted for the rest with Bickel taking 3-35 and Greenslade 2-52.
The usual pre-season friendly with old friends Eaton was played at Melton Park this year and it was the visitors who took the spoils, winning by 8 wickets. Nick Aston (63) and skipper Eusha Fawad (53) both scored half-centuries and Imaad Khalid (43) and Harry Ryan (30 not out) both made valuable contributions as Melton totalled 230-6 off 40 overs but Eaton made short work of reaching their target. Matt Duke and Sam Butcher (38) put on 92 for the first wicket before Harrison Cunningham had Butcher caught behind but Duke went on to score 90 and found a willing partner in Michael Barker (52 not out) as Eaton won with 8 wickets and 9 overs to spare. Melton’s bowlers struggled but there was a first wicket for the club for Sudeep Athanti.
The Mid-Norfolk Sunday League team faced a tough opening game at home to a strong Swaffham side including Jasper Payne who seems to have developed a liking for Melton Park over the years. Having seemingly been dismissed to a catch with only 4 runs to his name, Payne was reprieved when the umpire ruled that it was a “bump ball” and he went on the smash the Melton bowlers to all parts of the ground in scoring a mammoth 172. Jordan Twiddy was the other main contributor with an unbeaten 73 as Swaffham totalled 287-6 with young Flynn Crosthwaite (8-0-34-1) and Ben Mann (8-2-35-1) the pick of the bowlers, although there were 3 late wickets for Steve Cadge (3-10). A half-century from Tim Hales and 35 from Sam Mann helped Melton to 182-6 in reply but Payne’s fireworks had already ensured that Swaffham were comfortable winners, by 105 runs.