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Stearman knock aids Melton win

PUBLISHED: 10:36 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:02 14 July 2010

A superb unbeaten 53 by Paul Stearman inspired Great Melton A to an impressive victory over a strong Cromer A side in Division Five of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance.

A superb unbeaten 53 by Paul Stearman inspired Great Melton A to an impressive victory over a strong Cromer A side in Division Five of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance.

Stearman's knock came after Cromer had won the toss and elected to bat at Melton Park in good conditions. Early wickets were ultimately key to Melton restricting the visitors, as despite some aggressive batting, they were reduced to 65 for three after 14 overs.

Gary Coulson (12-3-43-1) was his miserly self and both he and stand-in skipper Lee Whiddett took fine catches to keep the pressure on the batting side.

Ryan Hayward continued his early season form with three for 62 and he and the impressive Jake Mardell (7-1-10-3) ensured that wickets continued to fall regularly.

The visitors' innings began to fall apart, as from 119 for three at the halfway stage, they were only able to add 57 runs for the loss of five wickets in the next 15 overs, and despite a wagging tail, they were bowled out in the 43rd over for a below par 201, giving the home side 49 overs to chase down their target.

Tony Alborough (3) was then out early in the Great Melton chase, but Whiddett (37) and Matt Clarke (43) were untroubled as they added 96 for the second wicket and they were well placed at 102 for one from 28 overs.

Both batsmen then fell in quick succession and a mini-collapse ensued as James Dorling (11), Martin Cook (0), and Damien Loines (8) all followed. Melton slumped to 134 for six from 36 overs in the face of the spin bowling of Cromer skipper Gascoyne (9-1-44-2) and Buck (6-0-28-3).

A feature of Great Melton as a club in recent years is the strength in depth that they possess and this was evident again as number seven, Paul Stearman, and number eight, George Bunn, came together to bring the game back in the home side's favour.

Stearman was devastating on anything loose and his 53 not out included eight fours and two sixes, whilst Bunn batted maturely in support with 21 runs of his own. Melton ultimately got home with some 28 balls to spare.

Melton A are now handily placed in Division Five of the Alliance and will look forward to their trip to Topcroft this weekend, hoping to continue their good form.

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