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Impressive eighth wicket stand the key as Melton move back into the top two

PUBLISHED: 21:14 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 21:14 01 August 2017

Nick Mackenzie played an important innings as Great Melton boosted their promotion bid. Picture: Steve Phoenix

Nick Mackenzie played an important innings as Great Melton boosted their promotion bid. Picture: Steve Phoenix

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Victory by 64 runs over struggling North Runcton A at Melton Park, coupled with Swardeston B’s defeat of Bungay, meant that Great Melton moved back into the Alliance Division Three promotion positions – but it was not all plain sailing.

Having been asked to bat, Melton’s top order struggled and, although Sam Mann maintained his good form with 34, it was an unbroken eighth wicket stand between Nick Mackenzie and skipper Olly Harris than enabled Melton to reach a defendable total.

Mackenzie finished on 50 and Harris 35 as the pair eclipsed their own club record eighth wicket stand before Harris also starred with the ball, taking 2-19 and Aaron Garner 3-8 in eight overs as the visitors were dismissed for 122, despite a battling 51 not out from skipper Tom Bunting.

Aslam Mohammed (1-38) and Alex Rennie (1-26) were the other wicket-takers and it was good to see Darshan Rai back in action. He bowled with good pace and conceded only 16 runs in his eight overs.

Jake Mayall scored 95 not out and Ben Hudson 52 for Mattishall A who made 210-8 against Melton A. The wickets were shared between Matt Henderson (3-35), Ryan Hayward (2-45), Lohit Kannan (1-26) and Joe Bickel (1-64) but Tom Moye (9-0-24-0) was the best of the bowlers.

The total proved too much for Melton who could only muster 121 all out, with Connor Stearman top-scoring with 23. Keenan Stokes (4-23) and Ciaran Coupland (3-34) did most of the damage as Melton A’s topsy-turvy season continued.

The B team’s game against Halvergate was abandoned because of rain with Melton needing 20 runs for victory with five wickets left. Three wickets apiece from Dale Weston (10-4-12-3) and Leo DeSalis (4.4-0-17-3) and two from Kyle Weston saw Halvergate bundled out for just 95 at Town Close, Perry Kelf (26) and Stuart Willimott (31) scoring most of them. Several Melton batsmen then went cheaply but opener Steve Clarke was still there with 19 and Chris Wright had 11 when the rain came.

The C team included five girls and opponents Blundeston & Somerleyton A one so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that one of them proved the star performer. Fourteen-year-old Caitlin Ellis returned the superb figures of 9-5-8-4 as Blundeston were restricted to 137-8 before Melton got home by five wickets.

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