Great Melton CC round-up

Great Melton's lead at the top of Alliance Division Four has extended to 14 points but this week they travel to Hardingham in what is bound to be a tough encounter.

Great Melton's lead at the top of Alliance Division Four has extended to 14 points but this week they travel to Hardingham in what is bound to be a tough encounter.

Great Melton first team, buoyed by the return of players Jim Rice, Michael Sibert and Alex Cooper played host to Norwich B on a day blighted by foul weather that caused countless interruptions to play.

Norwich were invited to bat and Melton took to the field in a strong and cold wind.

Fresh from an excellent bowling display at Narborough the week before, 16 year old all-rounder Josh Wilson shared the new ball with Neil Hubbard. Norwich made a reasonable start with Colin Whurr playing steady and defensively whilst his partner Alex Mhandu took a more flamboyant and attacking route.

Despite two well-struck boundaries by Mhandu, Wilson made the break through by bowling the opener, who played a needless swipe across the line. Jamie Bradford joined Whurr and made some lusty hits but Melton slowed the run rate with Rice and Harris and when Bradford misjudged the length from Rice he was bowled.

Melton hoped they could run through Norwich as there was real doubt whether the game would finish, and with rain falling and the outfield getting wet, it became increasing hard for bowlers and fielders to grip the ball.

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Norwich though showed excellent resistance and Melton started to leak runs.

Regular rain breaks took time out of the game and Melton's frustrations were compounded further when Rice had a very good shout for lbw against Burton turned down. The batsman made the most of his good fortune however and played a useful hand making a solid half-century before he was bowled by Michael Sibert. Good late hitting saw Norwich post a very competitive 253 for 6.

In reply, Melton opened with Richard Wood and the retuning Alex Cooper, but he failed to make an impact and was caught at square leg for 5. Jim Rice found the fence three times and looked to be in good touch, but a mistimed drive held up in the wind and he was well caught by Alex Mhandu at mid off. Martin Cook has been something of a revelation this season and he played some handsome shots and the scoreboard started to rattle along at a decent rate but the lure of charging Norwich's young leg spinner proved too tempting and he was stumped for 25.

Wood remained calm and, as is so often the case, he marshalled the innings and with Josh Wilson for company they built a solid foundation for the run chase, which with time moving on because of rain breaks was becoming more urgent because of poor light and the 8.30pm cut-off point.

The boundaries flowed as Wood made a concerted effort to get to the total as quickly as possible but with a deserved century in sight he miscued a shot into the leg side and the leading edge was taken and was out for 90.

Michael Sibert carried on where Wood left off however and his 20 was just what Melton needed in the closing overs of the game and with Josh Wilson growing in confidence and passing 50, the chase looked well within Melton's capabilities with wickets in hand.

Sibert lost his wicket but Wilson took control and started to find the fence with ease in gathering gloom - and despite the late loss of Mark Scott and Daryl Godbold, Wilson would not be denied and together with Harris he took the score to six needed from the final over. A boundary over mid-wicket and a scampered two from Wilson saw Melton to a three-wicket victory and the teenager to a first-team personal best of 69 not out. He batted with good maturity, skill and patience and his good all-round performance underlined and confirmed his promise.

Great Melton A, stronger because of with significantly improved availability throughout the club, were able to make a much better account of themselves at Brooke in Alliance Division Five on a rain-affected day. Melton were inserted on a dry and hard wicket that had been covered. An excellent start from the Melton openers, particularly from Jason Whiddett (37), saw the platform developing when he was undone by an unusually bad low bounce to be bowled.

Dave Allum (15) started to get going before being caught and Kapila Liyanapathirana (6) found it tough going and was not helped by a rain break. James Dorling added some extra impetus and saw boundaries flowing freely with both Doc (18) and Matt Clarke (62) pressurising and punishing the bowlers for anything loose. A potential match winning partnership was developing when it was ended due to a bizarre run-out.

Good powerful hitting from both Lee Whiddett (22) and Ryan Hayward (27no) saw Melton progress to 237-9. This was a decent total, but always looked a little short of a match-winning score on such a small ground.

Some typically aggressive batting that was able to use the short boundary more effectively proved this to be the case and took Brooke to their total. Some good catches held by Woody Loines and George Bunn supported the bowlers, and would have given Brooke some nerves. Nick Gristwood was the pick of the Melton bowlers and Gary Coulson produced some typically economical bowling but good knocks by Paul Daynes (67) and Simon Cushing (79) saw Brooke to victory.

Melton can be proud of their performance and the fact that they stuck to their task.

Great Melton A: J Whiddett b Stamp 37, M Clarke b Cushing 62, D Allum c Warner b Stamp 15, K Liyanapathirana b Stamp 6, J Dorling run out (Stamp) 18, L Whiddett run out 22, D Loines c Westgate b Nolan 2, G Bunn b Cushing 0, N Gristwood c Stamp b Cushing 1, R Hayward not out 27, G Coulson not out 2; extras 46. Total (9 wkts) 237. Bowling: R Hayman 11-0-65-0, B Nolan 4-0-35-1, A Gray 12-4-40-0, O Stamp 10-2-32-3, C Bennett 5-0-24-0, S Cushing 5-0-29-3.

Brooke A: M Warner b Gristwood 10, S Cushing c Loines b Gristwood 79, P Daynes c Bunn b Gristwood 67, J Andrews not out 33, C Bennett c Loines b Bunn 8, J Savage not out 30; extras 14. Total (4 wkts) 241. Bowling R Hayward 9.2-1-68-0, N Gristwood 12-3-53-3, G Coulson 10-4-28-0, G Bunn 7-1-48-1, K Liyanapathirana 2-0-22-0, L Whiddett 3-0-20-0.

Melton Phoenix beat Beccles Panthers by 10 wickets at Beccles in the Carter Junior Cup. Hosts Beccles were bowled out for just 66 with Josh Wilson taking 4-21, Owen Spalding 2-10 and George Bunn (1-0), Frankie Galvin (1-17), Nick Gristwood (1-15) and Oskar Feeney-Mellor (1-0) a wicket apiece, Feeney-Mellor ending the Panthers' innings with his first ball. George Bunn and Ed Allen made short work of reaching their target, Bunn hitting 36 and Allen 23 as Melton won in only 7.3 overs.

Beccles Panthers: A Wilkinson c-b Gristwood 0, K Bale b Wilson 0, D McQuiston c Gristwood b Galvin 10, A Wright c Gristwood b Wilson 0, A Lowe c-b Wilson 16, M Wilson c Feeney-Mellor b Spalding 6, M Smith-Howell c Ducker b Wilson 10, S Crisp b Spalding 1, B Fisher st Ducker b Bunn 1, D White st Ducker b Feeney-Mellor 2, A Goodwin not out 0; extras 20. Total 66. Bowling: N Gristwood 3-1-15-1, J Wilson 6-1-21-4, F Galvin 3-0-17-1, O Spalding 2-0-10-2, G Bunn 2-2-0-1, O Feeney-Mellor 0.1-0-0-1.

Great Melton Phoenix: G Bunn not out 36, E Allen not out 23; extras 13. Total (0 wkts) 72. Bowling: A Wright 3-0-24-0, A Lowe 3-0-28-0, S Crisp 1-0-8-0, B Fisher 0.3-0-8-0.

Great Melton Sunday lost to Stow by five wickets at Melton Park in the Mid-Norfolk Sunday League Shield Premier Division.

With the Carter Junior Cup taking the best of Melton's youngsters and the usual high number of 'unavailable' players, Melton's Sunday side was again weakened for the visit of Stow but there looked enough strength in the batting to post a decent total. The fact that they made just 156-8 was, therefore, disappointing. Matt Clarke hit some fine shots but fell just one run short of a deserved fifty. Richard Wood made 28, Daryl Godbold 29 and there was a very promising display by 13-year-old Michael Farmer whose 18 included some classy shots. D Ward was Stow's best with 4-27.

Openers Denny and Thompson both drove the ball impressively. Helped by some sloppy fielding, the score raced to 106 before Paul Stearman removed Thompson for 55, smartly stumped by Richard Wood. Matt Clarke brought himself on and Melton were able to stem the runs. Stearman, bowling beautifully, helped himself to 4-24 and Clarke took 1-24 but Stow hit the winning runs in the 29th over.

Great Melton Sunday: M Cook c Denny b Ward 0, A Cooper lbw Moulton 8, M Clarke c Butt b Ward 49, R Wood c Cook b Ward 28, D Godbold lbw Ward 29, P Stearman run out 5, M Farmer run out 18, A Alborough c Albut b Moulton 2, S Phoenix not out 0, J McCurley not out 8; extras 9. Total (8 wkts) 156. Bowling: D Ward 10-3-27-4, S Moulton 10-1-46-2, J Butt 6-1-19-0, J Malan 4-1-20-0, K Thomson 10-0-39-0.

Stow: Denny c-b M Clarke 53, K Thomson st Wood b Stearman 55, Albutt b Stearman 7, J Malan c McCurley b Stearman 4, High b Stearman 10, D Ward not out 7, S Moulton not out 0; extras 22. Total (5 wkts) 158. Bowling: J McCurley 5-0-31-0, D Godbold 5-0-18-0, L DeSalis 3-0-23-0, M Farmer 2-0-20-0, P Stearman 7-3-24-4, M Clarke 6.5-1-24-1.