Melksham’s fine season continued with another dominant win, this time away to fellow promotion hopefuls Westbury 2s.
Having been put into bat, the travelling side received an early setback as Tom Wallis was bowled for a 5-ball duck. This would prove to be of little consequence though, as Daniel Carpenter and Russell Collins quickly settled any early nerves and began to exploit the favourable batting conditions. Collins was particularly quick to push the total along, scoring at a significantly faster rate than his partner, before being bowled for 66.
With Melksham well placed on 117-1 approaching the halfway mark of the innings, Carpenter was then joined at the crease by Joe Veacock. He was able to follow Collins’ quick-run scoring example, whilst his fellow batsman held up the other end. At around 37 overs, with a healthy score of 218-2, the pair looked well-placed to potentially push their team’s total towards 300. However, the momentum that had built up was then suddenly snuffed out with the dismissals of Carpenter (70), Veacock (65) and then skipper Rich Hemmings, who was bowled for a golden duck. A quickfire 28 from 24 balls from Chris Singh did facilitate something of a late recovery as Melksham finished on 265-8.
It was imperative for Westbury to get off to a quick start if they were to have any hope of reaching the lofty target. Opener James Mawson was efficient in punishing the occasional bad balls, yet the Melksham bowlers bowled well enough to deny him enough of such opportunities to keep Westbury in the game. Earlier batting hero Collins (2-28) as well as Matt Lee (1-25) and Chris Long (2-27) chipped in with the wickets as Melksham kept the batting side to 90-5 in 30 overs to effectively have the win secure. Mawson continued to be a nuisance though. He was eventually able to carve out a century as Melksham suffered from an end of innings slump in the last 15 overs. His team still fell well short of the target regardless, finishing on 178-5, allowing Melksham to win by a convincing margin of 87 runs.
By the grace of other results going their way, victory at Westbury sees Melksham reassert their lead at the top of the Division 5 table, with a game in hand over 2nd place Erlestoke.
Melksham CC would like to thank Autotech for their continued support.