Warm Sunshine and Entertaining Cricket the perfect end to a not so perfect Summer!!
Great Melton Beat Hardingham by 70 runs in a friendly at Hardingham
In an entertaining encounter at Hardingham on a warm sunny day it was to be Chris Greenslade who shone to end the season in a perfect way as he smashed his way to an impressive score of 92 in an excellent win in the last competitive game for 2012.
Winning the toss Lee Whiddett decided to bat first and it was Greenslade who opened up with his captain. After a few steady overs the partnership built steadily and the opening bowlers finished their spells Greenslade set about upping the run rate. Crashing the ball to the boundary with dismay the young first teamer looked in excellent touch as the partnership passed 50 with Whiddett playing the supporting role looking to push the ball around keeping the strike rotating.
With G. Sheehan baring the brunt of the punishment (5-0-43-0) they were fast approaching the 100 mark without loss until Whiddett skipped down the wicket only to think he had been bowled but Hardinham keeper Goody at the second attempt whipped off the bails to break the partnership on 96.
Jon Moxon then came to the crease and with his first scoring shot looked to keep the momentum going as after facing a few deliveries smashed Sheehan over the square leg boundary for 6!! The pattern then continued with Greenslade looking imperious and Moxon at his destructive best the pair added 64 for the second wicket in 10 overs until Greenslade picked the right ball but got the execution wrong and missed the ball as it crashed into his stumps to leave him 8 short of a well deserved hundred.
Marcus Godbold joined Moxon at the crease who eying up his own half century kept things ticking as Godbold got set, but he didn't take long to get into his stride as he started to tick the scoreboard over and hit a couple of boundaries early in his innings.
They had added 22 in 4 overs when Moxon missed a straight one to leave him 1 short of 50 and so Chris Elliot came to the crease and played well to take singles and get Godbold back on strike. They added 64 in the last 9 overs until Godbold on 48 looked for a boundary to reach his half century sent the ball skywards to be dismissed with one ball of the innings remaining.
After an excellent Tea full of delightful cakes and surprise sandwiches (cheese, ham & pickle!!) Melton took to the field looking to give everyone a bowl but still try and finish the season off with a win. Michael Farmer and Tom Smith opened the bowling and were as dependable as they had been all season going at 2 an over and picking up a wicket in the first 10 overs. Joe Bickel and Duncan Greenslade, Making his first appearance of the season, were the change bowlers and the former was expensive in his first 3 overs going for 20 whilst Greenslade looked steady and bowled a good line and length.
Greenslade picked up 2 wickets as Hardingham looked to increase the rate both caught and the second impressively by Moxon running in from the boundary to take a skier at mid off whilst Bickel had the former Melton player caught by Farmer as the visitors bowlers frustrated the opener for 17 overs as he made only 14.
Then Neal Clarke and Chris Elliot came into the attack Melton's most experienced bowlers on the day with 593 wickets between them and they soon made it 594 as with his first ball Clarke got the luck he had been looking for all season as he had Connolly caught well by D. Greenslade first ball of his spell and then produced the kind of bowling performance which has been missing all season bowling 5-0-14-1. Elliot soon made it 595 between them, on the ground which was the birth of the nickname ‘Jethro', as he took a good return catch to take his first wicket of the decade and make victory almost assured for the visitors as the home side were 89-7 with still 18 overs to go.
Moxon and Godbold were brought into the attack with their chance to impress with the ball, Moxon was unlucky as some sub-standard fielding left his figures at 2-0-18-0 but it was Godbold who saved the best till last. Surprisingly it wasn't with a wicket or a stunning catch it was ‘Champagne Moment' for very different reason's. His first five balls of his 3rd over had all been dots and he bowled the over pretty well but it was as he turned to start his run that Mum and Dad Godbold were leaving in the car drove behind the bowlers arm with Daryl in a chorus of Wooooooaaah which Marcus then preceded to bang the ball in half way down for Robbie Fowle to smash it to the boundary for four!! After the laughter had died down Whiddett brought himself onto bowl, after he had bowled a couple of poor legside wides he straightened up his line to take the final three wickets of the innings to finish with figures of 1.5-0-6-3 and at this rate it will be Lee Whiddett and not Elmur Fudd lining up alongside Bugs Bunny in future!!!
All joking aside it was another excellent performance from a Melton side containing 6 under 25's and a perfect way to end to the season in the Norfolk sunshine.
Gt. Melton Innings.
L.Whiddett st. Goody b. Eldridge 20, C.Greenslade b. Meikle 92, J. Moxon b. Meikle 49, M.Godbold ct. Goody b. Downes 48, C.Elliot 22 not out, J.Greenslade 0 not out TOTAL 246-6 (extras 15). C.Connolly 5-0-17-0, J.Harris 5-0-25-0, G.Sheehan 5-0-43-0, J.Eldridge 5-0-39-1, R.Fowle 5-0-38-0, S.Meikle 5-0-20-2, J.Fowle 5-0-27-0, A. Downes 5-0-31-1
G. King ct. Farmer b.Bickel 14, R.Pickerill b. Smith 11, J.Goody ct. Moxon b. D.Greenslade 43, J.Downes ct. Whiddett b. Bickel 1, G.Sheehan ct+b. Elliot 2, J.Harris ct. Farmer b. D.Greenslade 4, C.Connolly ct. D.Greenslade b. N.Clarke 0, R.Fowle ct. Moxon b. Whiddett 47, J.Fowle 23 not out, R.Eldridge ct. C.Greenslade b. Whiddett 0, S.Meikle b. Whiddett 0 TOTAL 176 all out (extras 30) T.Smith 5-1-5-1, M.Farmer 5-2-12-0, J.Bickel 5-0-34-2, D.Greenslade 5-0-25-2, N.Clarke 5-0-14-1, C.Elliot 5-0-15-1, J. Moxon 2-0-18-0, M.Godbold 3-0-18-0, C.Greenslade 3-1-14-0, L.Whiddett 1.5-0-6-3