Melton Mowbray CC: Mullard hits 154 as Seconds crush Stars

Melton CC piled up 331-2 in 40 overs
Melton CC piled up 331-2 in 40 overs
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Melton Mowbray CC Second XI strengthened their County League promotion hopes as they extended their unbeaten run to nine matches on Saturday.

A commanding 133-run win over Leicester Stars at an overcast All England Sports Ground took the Division Nine East leaders 50 points clear of third-placed Bitteswell who have a game in hand.

Melton won the toss and elected to bat first, with James Culy and Stuart Mullard opening.

They found runs easy to come by as they reached 137 in just the 20th over before Culy was bowled for 54 by Sajid, the best of the visiting bowlers.

This brought the big-hitting Mark Mabbott to the crease, and with Mullard looking increasingly fluent, the scoring rate increased further.

The pair put on a 191-run partnership before Mabbott was bowled in the final over of the innings for 83, made off 57 balls, including three sixes and seven fours.

Mullard carried his bat for an unbeaten on 154 off 104 balls, featuring 25 fours and a six, as Melton posted a massive 331-2 off their 40 overs.

The Leicester Stars reply started well until skipper Karl Tew brought himself on to bowl in the ninth over and was rewarded with four quick wickets.

This was soon followed by two wickets from spinner Archie Cropper, continuing his excellent recent form.

The visitors tried to keep up with the run rate, but continued to lose wickets and were eventually all out for 198 in the 29th over.

With Ketton Sports Seconds beating third-placed Bitteswell, a clear gap has now opened in the table with the top two fighting for top spot.

Melton Seconds are without a fixture this weekend.

Melton: J. Culy 54, S. Mullard 154*, M. Mabbott 83, J. Tew 3*, Extras 37. Total: 331-2.

Leicester Stars: 198.

Bowling: J. Tew 4-2-17-0; L. Tew 8-1-30-1; K. Tew 5-1-19-4; A. Cropper 7-2-39-2; K. Mistry 4-0-34-0; M. Braine 2-0-9-1.