By Dan Carpenter
Melksham 1s saw their brief winning streak come to an end with a 6-wicket defeat at home to Combe Down, with another below-par batting display proving costly.
Losing the toss and forced to bat first, Melksham’s openers Daniel Carpenter and Roy Veacock found themselves pinned down early on by the Combe Down bowling. Eventually the pressure told; both batsmen were dismissed in successive balls during the 8th over, having both made 4 runs and leaving the score at 12-2. The in-form Matt Hunt and Captain Joe Veacock were subsequently given the task of leading the recovery, a task which they initially succeeded at as they nudged the total towards 49-2 by the 16th over. But when Veacock was caught by the Combe Down keeper for 24 soon after it was apparent that Melksham were not out of danger yet.
Hunt continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but 6 overs later he to would be dismissed for 23; and when AJ Hobbs (1) also met his end, Melksham were staring down the barrel on 74-5. Jack Footner and Chris Singh now occupied the crease, and the two were able to provide some much-needed energy into the innings with some big hitting. Footner was especially explosive, smashing a quickfire 32 which included a massive 6. Once those two batsmen were dismissed however, the tail completely capitulated; meaning Melksham finished on a meagre 120 all out.
Melksham did get a welcome early boost as they began their defence, with the impressive Matt Lee claiming 2 early wickets to remove the Combe Down openers. This sadly proved to be something of a false dawn, with the next batsmen in efficiently setting about the job of chasing down the target. Frustrations quickly grew for the hosts, and it wasn’t until the 20th over that Freddie Honeybone claimed his side’s third wicket; at which point Combe Down only needed 36 more runs to win. Jack Footner claimed a wicket of his own the following over, but this served only to delay the inevitable. The visitors finally reached the target in the 27th over, condemning Melksham to a third league defeat in 5 games and stifling any ambitions the team may have had of a quick climb up the league standings.
Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank The Conigre for their kind sponsorship of this match.