By Dan Carpenter
Melksham 1s bounced back from a disappointing run of results with a much needed 128-run victory over bottom-placed Corsham 3s, with a captain’s innings from Joe Veacock setting the tone for a good team performance.
Losing a crucial toss and forced to bat first on a rain-effected track, Melksham for the 3rd week running found themselves in early trouble after openers Matt Hunt (5) and Freddie Honeybone (2) fell victim to the deft bowling of Corsham’s Lily Day. It was up to Russell Collins and skipper Veacock to lead the recovery once again, and once again they succeeded. After a brief period of calm the duo quite quickly asserted their authority; reaching the 100-run mark after 22 overs. With Veacock especially quick to rack up the runs, the pair were then able to push on from their solid base; both batsmen going on to reach the fifty milestone for the first time this season.
Collins was finally bowled for 67 in the 33rd over, bringing an end to a crucial 3rd wicket stand of 162. This served only to embolden Veacock however, as the captain subsequently unleashed a furious barrage upon the now deflated Corsham bowlers including some monstrous sixes; chalking up his hundred in the 38th over.
Unfortunately, none of his subsequent partners stayed for long to form a significant partnership: with Tom Bew (3), Daniel Carpenter (6), and Chris Singh (0) all dismissed cheaply.Veacock would finish on a mighty 130 before being bowled in the 41st over. A quickfire cameo from Matt Lee (19) ensured that this late wicket didn’t lead to a decline of the run rate in the last 4 overs, and Melksham as a result would finish the innings on a monumental 255-7; a total the home side knew should be easily defendable.
Lee and Singh were entrusted with opening the bowling. Despite the latter claiming the only wicket between them, the pair bowled mostly tight spells to keep Corsham well behind the required run rate; restricting them to a mere 39 runs in the first 14 overs. Chris Long was then brought into the attack and took a wicket almost immediately, with the introduction of Gary Ings a few overs later yielding a similar result to leave the away side 53-3 after 20 overs.
With the pressure now building on the Corsham batsmen to get the scoreboard ticking, wickets began to tumble more frequently as Melksham began to sniff an empathic victory. The fielders more than played their part with a clinical display of catching; Carpenter and Bew the main stars in the field with 2 catches each. After a pair of impressive spells from Long (3-30) and Ings (3-26), Man-of-the-match Veacock along with Honeybone now had the responsibility of finishing the job in the final overs. The two successfully rendered Corsham all out before the close of play, Veacock getting 2 whilst Honeybone took the final wicket, allowing Melksham to claim a resounding and vital win during a week where all other fixtures in the Division were cancelled due to the weather.
Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank S Court Plumbing for their kind sponsorship of this match.