County League cricket: Melton Mowbray thrash Huncote

Melton Mowbray First XI, from left, back - Simon Brown, Vinny Musson, Lee Middleton, Liam Tew (scorer), Simon Claricoates, Mike Roberts; front - Ben Redwood, Carel Fourie, Karl Tew, Pete Humphries. EMN-170530-121108002
Melton Mowbray First XI, from left, back - Simon Brown, Vinny Musson, Lee Middleton, Liam Tew (scorer), Simon Claricoates, Mike Roberts; front - Ben Redwood, Carel Fourie, Karl Tew, Pete Humphries. EMN-170530-121108002

Melton Mowbray got back on track after the previous week’s poor result and moved within 14 points of the Division Three promotion places with a big home win over Huncote on Saturday.

With the sun belting down on the All England Ground, Melton won a key toss and batted first.

They started off positively with Potter and Claricoates sending the bowling to all areas with regular boundaries.

Potter was first to pass 50 until he went for a fine 87 off only 50 balls, including a huge six.

This brought Fourie to the crease to join the already well set Claricoates who continued on his way to a maiden century for Melton.

His fine innings ended for 102 off 80 balls with both openers having put the hosts in a commanding position.

With the runs slowing slightly and the bowling getting tighter, Freer came to the crease and got off the mark quickly,

Fourie soon fell, but Roberts joined Freer and they upped the tempo immediately, finding the boundary regularly.

With 300 in sight, Roberts fell for 27 off 16 balls, but Freer carried on taking the attack to the bowlers, hitting a big six and some well-struck boundaries until he fell for 37 off 24 as Melton posted an imposing total of 313-5.

The hunt for the win started frustratingly as catches went down, but wickets soon began to fall with the introduction of Phil James (12-0-33-2) who quickly removed both openers on his return from injury.

Fourie, bowling with his usual pressure, returned figures of 11-4-46-1.

With the wickets starting to stall, Middleton and Roberts ripped through the heart of the Huncote defence.

Middleton (4-1-7-2) was aided by a run-out from Freer, while Roberts, showing real pace and aggression, finished the game off with three quick wickets, Potter sealing the 134-run win with a well-taken catch.

The win lifted Melton to fifth and they will look to make further progress on Saturday with a big trip to second-placed Barwell.