By Dan Carpenter
Melksham CC continued their strong end of season form with a convincing 8-wicket away-win during their final away game of the season at mid-table Goatacre 3rds.
Sent into field after losing the toss, the travelling side got off to a solid start with the ball thanks to the tight line and length of Andy Footner; conceding just 2 runs from his first 5 overs. With Freddie Honeybone also producing a tidy spell, Melksham successfully restricted Goatacre to just 24 off the first 10 overs. However, their failure to get a wicket would subsequently prove costly, with opening batsmen Fredie Van Der Merwe and Adam Iles now having a solid foundation from which to attack. They upped the scoring-rate during the following 10 overs, smashing their way to 73 off 20 before Chris Long (2-20) finally picked up the wicket of Van Der Merwe for 39 to kick-start Melksham’s afternoon.
Iles would continue to frustrate the bowling attack though. He resiliently resisted some venomous short bowling from Jack Footner (1-48) as he battled his way to a half-century, before being dismissed by Joe Veacock (3-55) for 53, leaving the score at 121-4 after 34 overs. This wicket brought Middle-order batsmen Rahn Heer to the crease, who would shoulder the run-scoring-burden for the remainder of the innings. He smacked his way to a quick-fire 39, before being dismissed in the final over by the returning Andy Footner (1-16), to help his side to 189-7 at the close of the innings to set Melksham a challenging target to chase.
Melksham’s response got off to a seemingly inauspicious start with the dismissal of Daniel Carpenter in the 3rd over for just 4. However, the subsequent pairing of Tom Wallis and Matt Hunt quickly looked at ease at the crease, untroubled by the good balls whilst punishing the bad. They expertly guided their side through the next 20 overs, eventually both reaching 50 before Wallis (53) was bowled in the 26th over the leave his side the commanding position of 124-2.
It appeared that the away side still had some long work to do to reach the target, but Skipper Joe Veacock had other ideas. He blitzed his way to 45 off just 14 balls in a knock which included 6 sixes to suddenly put his side on the verge of victory. Hunt finished the game off with a six himself, ending with a personal score of 75 not out.
Thanks to some fortuitous results else were, victory for Melksham now leaves them with the chance of finishing 2nd and achieving promotion, if they can beat fellow promotion hopefuls Purton 2s next week at home in their final match of the season.
Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank Auto-Tech Melksham Ltd for their continued support.