A Team ReportsWhat’s Happened to the Forward Defensive?

What’s Happened to the Forward Defensive?

GREAT MELTON A (23 points) beat SWARDESTON/CEYMS (8 points) by 103 runs at Melton Park in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division 5

Club cricket will forever follow in the footsteps of its more illustrious, professional cousins. In recent years, the International and First Class game has seen a general rise in scores & strike rates, as bigger yet lighter bats, shorter boundaries and innovative stroke making conspire against poor, maligned bowlers everywhere and rendering the forward-defensive a forgotten relic of the past. On Saturday at Melton Park, Great Melton A scored 305-7. Three Hundred and Five. A few years ago that would be considered massive. Unassailable.  Might as well go home at tea because the 2nd innings is pointless. Not so nowadays. Not even the biggest score of the season. It was still a fine effort nonetheless and an exhibition in gaining momentum; building a stable base from which to launch a violent assault.

The opponents were Swardeston/CEYMS, a classic mixture of youth and experience in their ranks. For Melton, Whiddett
(33), Loines (21) & Clarke (34) laid the platform, building steadily to around 100 from the first half of the innings. The second half saw that total trebled as first Sam Mann (58), followed by Nick Aston (67) then Matt Henderson (33*) put the Swardeston attack to the sword. The away teams youngsters ploughed along manfully but were increasingly powerless to resist the punishment prescribed by Melton’s dynamic middle order.

Only 3 recognised bowlers in the home line up meant there would be experiments after tea. The 45 overs were divided
unevenly between 8 bowlers in the end. Man-Of-The-Match Nick Aston somehow got through a full set of  9, Matt Clarke took 2 wickets, Lee Whiddett & Sam Mann bowled in tandem. Even Tim Hales had a roll (what Nick Gristwood had done to miss out, I don't know).  Swardeston made decent progress of the chase and kept up with the rate for some time, but 300 is a tall order and once a few crucial wickets had fallen the game was up.

So at the halfway stage of the season Melton A are just in the black, with 5 wins & 4 defeats. Winning margins on both sides have ranged from 9 wickets to 200 runs and not a close finish in sight. Maybe there should still be a place for that forward-defensive afterall…

Full scorecard can be found here:

Simon Woods

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We are based at Melton Park in the grounds of Melton Hall

Address – Hall Road, Great Melton, NR9 3BJ

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