Final pair keep their cool in the gathering gloom to seal thrilling win for Melton
- Credit: Archant
There was a nailbiting finish to Great Melton's top-of-the-table clash with Martham last Saturday. In near-darkness as a storm broke overhead, skipper Olly Harris and last man Alex Rennie steered their side to a one-wicket victory with a single off the final ball.
It was a terrific game of cricket which ebbed and flowed as Martham, a side very much on the up, looked likely to post a large total following opener Louie Stronach's 65 and useful contributions from Jack Whatmough (22) and Joe Oakey (20) but a superb spell of bowling by Rennie, who conceded just 12 runs in his nine overs, pegged them back.
Three wickets for Harris (7-0-45-3), two apiece from Ben Carding (7-0-30-2) and Richard Waddell (7.3-2-16-2) plus two run-outs courtesy of Aaron Garner, saw Martham dismissed for 195.
A solid second wicket partnership between Jason Whiddett (27) and Matt Clarke (36) then got Melton's reply off to a good start but 4-43 from John Allen kept the visitors in the game as wickets fell regularly. A quick-fire 46 from Ben Mann in gathering gloom put Melton back on track but, when he was out, Garner, Waddell and Grant fell in quick succession.
When Carding became the ninth batsman to be dismissed, Melton still needed over 30 in five overs but Harris (18 not out) and Rennie (16 not out) showed remarkable composure, and eyesight, to get Melton over the line.
The A team at Bradenham also continued their winning ways with a third successive victory, this time by 86 runs, to move up to third in Division Five. Paul Stearman (37), Woody Loines (29), Jon Ellse (20), James Robb (19) and Matt Henderson (15) all made good contributions before a dashing 35 not out from Connor White and 16 from skipper Simon Woods took Melton to 210-9. Despite Steve Matthews carrying his bat for 82 not out no other Bradenham batsman got even close to double figures as they were dismissed for 124 in the 42nd over.
The B team are still without a win. Despite totalling 162-6 on a wet pitch against Sprowston B and having the visitors at 14-3 off 12 overs thanks to good bowling from Kyle Mason and debutant Phil Gray, they let Sprowston off the hook and 48 from M.Ollerton plus 40 not out from H. Jones gave the visitors victory by two wickets. Steve Clarke (55) was Melton's top scorer.