By Dan Carpenter
Melksham were given a harsh reality check away to mid table Purton, who, as a result of an abysmal batting performance, slumbered to a humiliating 159 run defeat.
Forced into the field first on a swelteringly hot day, Melksham were able to get off to a promising start thanks to opening bowlers Andy Footner and Matt Lee. The duo successfully restricted Purton to just 16 runs inside the first 10 overs, with Lee claiming the wickets of both openers in the process. However, this would prove to be as good as it would get for the visitors. Purton batsmen David Allen (69) and Phil Duffell (48) were able to overcome their side’s poor start, taking a liking to Melksham’s first change bowlers and punishing any lose balls that came their way. They put on 83 runs for the 3rd wicket partnership, helping to push their side past the 100-run mark by the 26th over. The scoreboard continued to keep ticking past this point, with middle order batsmen Mark Wilson (66) and Luke Roche (21) coming in to continue the run scoring right up until the end of the innings. Melksham, lethargic and erroneous in the field during the closing stages, could only limit Purton to 227-4.
In response, openers Daniel Carpenter and Tom Wallis began the scoring at around the required rate to reach 25 for no loss inside the first 6 overs. The trouble would begin with the dismissal of Wallis for 16, but it was a subsequent hattrick from Purton opening bowler Fraser Conway that would leave Melksham on the ropes. First Matt Hunt was bowled for 4, then the following ball dismissed skipper Joe Veacock for a golden duck, who was caught out playing a half-hearted shot. At the start of the next over Conway then completed his hattrick, trapping opener Carpenter LBW for 18. With the top order ruthlessly swept aside, the rest of the Melksham batting line up quickly capitulated as first change bowler Jamie Richards plundered 5 wickets for just 4 runs. Chris Long was the only other batsman to reach double figures as his team stumbled to a pathetic 68 all out in just 18 overs, deservedly losing their status as Division 5 league leaders.
Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank club sponsors Auto-Tech Melksham Ltd for their continued support.