Melton Mowbray CC march on in County League title double bid

Melton First XI captain Mike Roberts watches a ball dispatched to the boundary EMN-190813-103637002
Melton First XI captain Mike Roberts watches a ball dispatched to the boundary EMN-190813-103637002
0
Have your say

Melton Mowbray CC maintained their commanding 42-point lead in County League Division after another strong performance with the bat.

Their Leicester Banks visitors elected to bat first and put Melton under pressure, reaching 248-6 off their 45 overs.

Carel Fourie attempts to spin his way through the Banks batsmen EMN-190813-103611002

Carel Fourie attempts to spin his way through the Banks batsmen EMN-190813-103611002

Melton were disappointing with the ball and in the field as they struggled to take wickets throughout.

And in reply, the hosts were immediately in trouble as they lost three quick wickets.

Gary Potter (49) and James Cusack (62) put Melton back in contention, but with 10 overs remaining, Melton still needed 100 with wickets running out.

When Phil Humphries joined captain Mike Roberts at the wicket, Melton still required 35 off the last three overs with two wickets in hand.

A six from Roberts brought the runs required down to 23 off two overs, and under pressure, the Banks bowler started with five wides off the first ball of his next over, followed by a four off a no-ball.

Two more fours and some quick running between the wickets saw Melton reach their target with an over to spare to cap an unlikely two-wicket win.

On Saturday they visit third-placed Ketton in a key title battle.

* Melton Seconds took control of Division Nine East with a top-of-the-table win at title rivals Ketton.

The four-wicket victory left Melton 23 points clear of second-placed Ketton with just three games remaining.

Captain Karl Tew continued his perfect record, once again losing the toss and Ketton elected to bat first.

The galeforce winds made conditions difficult for both batting and bowling, but the Melton attack did well, with Phil James bowling an excellent opening 10-over spell into the wind.

He removed both openers and finished with 2 for 36, while at the other end, Jamie Tew and Matt Wright both bowled quick, hostile spells without success.

The Ketton number three Davies made 58 and while he was at the crease Ketton were expecting a score of about 200.

When he was removed by Liam Tew, with a catch by dad Karl, Ketton collapsed.

The skipper was the architect, taking 5 for 15 off his 10-over spell as Ketton were bowled out for 142 with two balls remaining of their 40 overs.

In reply, Stuart Mullard (24) and James Culy (9) put on 30 for the first wicket before Culy was caught behind.

Mark Mabbott (38) held the innings together as several batsmen got starts without pushing on.

Mullard was bowled by an excellent inswinger from Miller (3 for 25), while Callum Hull (10) was caught at point and Jamie Tew (7) bowled as they both tried to accelerate the scoring.

With Melton 101-4 off 28 overs, Trish Panchal hit a rapid 35 to put Melton firmly in control.

With the chase down to single figures, Davies removed both Panchal and Mabbott in three balls, but it was too little, too late as James hit the winning runs.

Melton host Countesthorpe Fourths at Saxby Road on Saturday (1pm).

Ketton: 142.

Bowling: J. Tew 4-1-21-0; P. James 10-2-36-2; M. Wright 6-1-17-0; A. Cropper 5-0-27-1; K. Tew 9.4-2-15-5; L. Tew 5-0-10-2.

Melton: S. Mullard 24, J. Culy 9, M. Mabbott 38, C. Hull 10, J. Tew 7, T. Panchal 35, L. Tew 2*, P. James 4*, Extras 17. Total: 146-5.