There was an unusual ending at the All England Sports Ground on Saturday as the opponents of Melton Mowbray Second XI refused to come out to bat.
Melton had accumulated 248-8, but after a rain shower in the interval, Wakerley and Barrowden Second XI claimed the ground was unsafe, forfeited their innings and handing the hosts a win.
The Division Nine East match had begun with a family theme with Melton captain Karl Tew playing alongside both of his two sons, Jamie and Liam, for fir the first time, while Bob White and his two sons Johnny and Chris lined up for the visitors.
Melton won the toss and batted first, but immediately lost James Culy in the first over, caught behind.
The in-form Mark Mabbutt (84) and Adam Thompson (26) put on 106 for the second wicket in 20 overs to set a solid foundation for the innings.
After Thompson was out lbw to Chris White, Melton looked to accelerate the scoring as Jamie Tew (53) and Callum Hull (24) took the score past 200 by the time the fourth wicket fell in the 34th over.
The home side continued to lose wickets, but while increasing the run rate as they posted 248-8 from their 40 overs.
A light shower at tea saw the covers brought on for five minutes, but the match then descended into a farce as Wakerley and Barrowden packed up their kit and drove away, the only game in the county league not to be completed.
Instead the Melton team were left to play a game among themselves on a spare wicket.
But the 25-point haul ensured the Seconds replicated the First XI in sitting top of their respective divisions.
Melton: A. Thompson 26, J. Culy 0, M. Mabbutt 84, J. Tew 53, C. Hull 24, M. Wright 0, K. Tew 17, M. Braine 20*, L. Tew 6, Extras 18. Total: 248-8.
Wakerley and Barrowden: forfeit innings.
* A brilliant ninth-wicket stand came to Melton First XI’s rescue as the Division Three leaders salvaged an unlikely win at Narborough and Littlethorpe.
Mike Roberts, Ben Redwood and Paul Stevenson all took two wickets as the home side racked up 242-6 from their 45 overs.
Many of Melton’s batsmen were unable to turn starts into big runs as the visitors looked to be heading to defeat despite good knocks from Carel Fourie (25), Gary Potter (28) and Stevenson (21).
But captain Roberts (62 not out) and veteran batsman Pete Humphreys (32 not out) steered Melton to a stunning victory with the final ball of the innings.
The one-wicket win put Melton 12 points clear. They host third-placed Syston Town Seconds on Saturday (1pm start).
Bowling: M. Roberts 9-1-36-2; B. Redwood 10-2-36-2; C. Fourie 6-1-24-0; J. Cusack 5-0-39-0; P. Stevenson 10-0-65-2; J. Peveritt 5-0-27-0.
Melton: S. Claricoates 0, J. Peveritt 14, C. Fourie 25, G. Potter 28, J. Cusack 2, H. Gibbs 10, P. Stevenson 21, M. Roberts 62*, B. Redwood 8, P. Humphreys 32*, Extras 41. Total: 243-9.