By Matty Edwards
There were high 5’s all round at Melksham House as Melksham 2’s continued their remarkable winning-streak with a hard-fought 2-wicket win against Biddestone 4’s.
After winning the toss, Melksham skipper Matty Edwards opted to send a Biddestone 4’s side who fielded just 8 players into bat and the decision quickly looked an inspired one. Another electric start from the opening bowling duo of Matty Edwards (2-15) and debutant James Walters (1-8) saw Biddestone in big trouble on 18-3.
Following the early breakthroughs, the hosts were set on keeping it tight in the field as they’d done so well in previous weeks and were successful in keeping the run-rate low in the following overs. Some half-chances to dismiss Biddestone opener Nicholls were missed however and this was to prove costly. A strong partnership for the visitors ensured it wasn’t until the 35th over and the visitors total at 91 when the home side would take their 4th wicket thanks to Abi Footner. It was a good bowling performance from Footner would go on to take the following 2 wickets which included some quick work with the gloves from keeper Colin Edwards. These wickets wouldn’t come cheaply thanks to grinding mid-order knocks from Willcox and Williams of 23 apiece, but Biddestone were eventually dismissed for a highly-competitive 143 all out with another classic Jonny House run-out sealing the final wicket on the last ball of the first innings.
Melksham therefore went into their response with confidence thanks to their early season form and in the knowledge of the gaps that would appear in the outfield, while also well-informed of the task ahead. Biddestone looked to take early wickets with their strong bowling attack and were successful in doing so. Roy Veacock (17) and Gareth Evans (9) were quickly dismissed leaving Melksham on 37-2 from 10 overs and with plenty of work still to do in their quest to record their fifth consecutive win. A common theme of Melksham’s season however has been gutsy performances with the bat when needed the most and this week was the turn of Dan Miles (24*). A brilliant partnership with Colin Edwards (27) meant it wasn’t until the 22nd over and 90 on the board when Biddestone next found success with the ball. This wicket was to prove a catalyst for a nervy few overs for the home side though and a duck apiece for Footner and Walters saw Melksham on 93-5 just 3 overs later, a big shift in the game at such a key stage. However, Miles’ perseverance and determination to punish Biddestone for the cheap extras given away throughout the innings alongside Lawrence Martin (10) (which included a massive and the game’s only 6) quickly eased the apprehension. With scores level the skipper and Kevin Honeybone were cheaply dismissed in consecutive deliveries seeking to get their team over the line, but Miles alongside Finn Evans fittingly found the gap to deliver the winning run and another massive win for Melksham.
With no game for the 2nd XI next week, attention turns to giving full support to the 1st XI on Saturday at Melksham House before the 2’s host Winsley 3’s on 8th June.