CRICKET: Great Melton go down to Saxlingham

Despite some fine individual performances, Great Melton slipped to a 54-run defeat at Saxlingham in Frankly Digital Norfolk Alliance Division Two.

The home side batted first and, courtesy of some ill-disciplined new ball bowling, made a positive start with 37 runs coming from the first 10 overs – but with a high number of extras very little pressure was applied on what was a damp and awkward batting surface.

Mark Scott and Nigel Young both bowled economical spells to halt the run rate, each conceding just 24 and 20 runs respectively from their first eight overs and, with Scott having picked up the wickets of Dave Lacey (25) and Alex Browne (31), the scoreboard took on a altogether more healthy appearance at 71-2 after 25 overs.

However Saxlingham, whilst scoring slowly on a large and slow outfield, did manage to keep wickets in hand and a useful partnership of 72 between Pearson (41 not out) and Adams (43) provided the cornerstone of the home side's innings.

Nevertheless, Melton's bowlers did well to restrict the total to 168.Darshan Rai, 16, bowled two good spells to take 3-42 and at tea Melton very much felt as it they were in the ascendancy.

In reply, Melton's progress was slow and when Wood (16) and Allum (2) were dismissed early and Martyn Cook (3) was brilliantly caught by Alex Browne, Melton were in trouble.

Jonathan Howard (32), making a return to his former club, and Matt Clarke (21) provided some hope for the visitors with a useful partnership of 56, but both were dismissed trying to force the pace.

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Adams produced a fine all-round display to take 4-25 as the Melton middle to late order all fell in pursuit of the 90pc losing draw. Saxlingham were good value for their win and outplayed Melton on their home turf, adapting to the conditions better than the visitors.

n Great Melton A recorded their third consecutive win as they disposed of a nine-man Cromer side by nine wickets in a Division Four match lasting just 46 overs at Melton Park.

Adam Thompson once again impressed with the ball and made the breakthrough when he dismissed young opener Jackson for five.

Farmer then had the last laugh when he bowled Bond for 12. Both J and A van Greuning made cameo innings before both fell victim to Thompson and after that the depleted visitors produced very little resistance as Rob Sims came on and swiftly removed Pottle, Kirk and Graveling, Cromer succumbing to an inadequate 73 all uut in the 30th over.

Martin Bunn, who has suffered from a poor start to the season decided to take the opportunity to come out firing and blasted 36, including six fours and a six, in double quick time before being run out going for a quick two runs. Lee Whiddett (10no) joined brother Jason (22no) at the crease and they serenely knocked off the remaining runs to complete victory in the 17th over.

The result lifts Melton A into the top half of Division Four, just 18 points behind second placed Thetford.