Melton side through to semi-final
MELTON Phoenix beat Swardeston Sharks at Swardeston in the Junior Carter Cup quarter-final. In a nail-biting finale with Melton's last pair at the wicket, it ended with the scores tied as Nick Gristwood played out a tense final over to give Melton victory by virtue of the fact that they had lost fewer wickets - nine to Swardeston's 10.
MELTON Phoenix beat Swardeston Sharks at Swardeston in the Junior Carter Cup quarter-final.
In a nail-biting finale with Melton's last pair at the wicket, it ended with the scores tied as Nick Gristwood played out a tense final over to give Melton victory by virtue of the fact that they had lost fewer wickets - nine to Swardeston's 10.
Thus, having scraped through the qualifying group only because they had a better run-rate than Beccles and Lowestoft, Melton now find themselves in the semi-final.
It looked so different as Swardeston raced to 99 without loss in just 13 overs with J Martin (41) and Robbie Bridgestock (37) firmly in control.
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Jake Mardell (7-1-29-3) and leg-spinners George Bunn (7-0-33-2) and Alex Cooper (5.1-2-18-3) then seized the initiative for Melton, with Cooper, skippering the side in the absence of Marcus Godbold, getting the vital wicket of opposite number Ben Shearing. Swardeston went from 114-1 to 171 all out.
Cooper and Daniel Malcolm nearly succeeded in seeing off the Sharks opening bowlers only for Malcolm to be run out. Cooper (32), Josh Wilson (12) and Owen Taylor (17) played some good shots but with seven wickets down for less than 100 it looked all over for the Phoenix.
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This remarkable game had another twist though as Nick Gristwood and Jake Mardell went for their shots. Mardell was out for 29 but now Melton had a sniff of victory. George Ducker added five and Gristwood supported by the resolute defence of last man Jack McCurley nudged Melton closer despite some fiery bowling from Shearing and Waterman.
It took five overs to score the three runs needed to bring the scores level, allowing Gristwood to play out the final over knowing survival would give Melton victory.