By Dan Carpenter
Melksham CC’s recent poor run of form was put to an end with a convincing 5-wicket win at home over mid-table Westbury 2s.
Fielding first upon losing the toss, Melksham’s bowlers had initially looked set to endure another difficult afternoon after Westbury’s opening batsmen raced to 24 runs inside the first 3 overs. However, 3 quickfire wickets from Matt Lee, as well as 1 from Gary Ings, suddenly put Melksham in complete control with the visitors collapsing to 36-4 after 8 overs. Any further attempts to capitalize on this advantage were initially frustrated though as Westbury’s 5th wicket pairing of Bracher and Willis successfully stabilized the innings with some defiant defensive batting over the next few overs, before then going back on the offensive. The pair were looking nicely placed to push Westbury beyond the 83-4 had reached by the 20th over. However, Chris Long took the timely wicket of Willis for 20 to regain the momentum for his side. This was followed by a pacey display by Jack Footner (3-14) who, along with Freddie Honeybone (2-5), tore through the lower order to condemn Westbury to a below par 115 all out after 34.4 overs. Skipper Joe Veacock also put in a star performance behind the stumps, finishing the innings with 4 catches and 1 stumping.
Melksham’s reply with the bat somewhat mirrored the start that their opponents made earlier, with the home-side perilously placed on 36-3 after 11 overs. Fortunately, Veacock was able to replicate his earlier wicket-keeping heroics with the bat, smashing his way to a timely half-century to see his side to 98 by the 20 over. He was then caught on the boundary soon after, finishing on 55 off just 38 balls. Melksham suffered the loss of only one further wicket on their way to completing the chase, with Jack Footner (18 not out) hitting a six to see his side home inside 23 overs.
Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank Auto-Tech Melksham Ltd for their continued support.