Melksham 1st XI endured yet another frustrating afternoon during the visit of Marshfield 2s, losing a low scoring thriller by 4 wickets.
After a delayed start due to rain, which meant that the match was reduced to just 40 overs per side, Melksham were put into bat after losing the toss. Runs came at a premium during a frustrating start, with said frustrations soon made to tell by the loss of Chay Forester for 6. Mark Wiltshire and Tom Wallis were able to hang in there for their side, with the pair guiding Melksham to a score of 41-1 by the 15th over – before Wallis (9) and then Skipper Joe Veacock (3) were dismissed to hand the advantage firmly to Marshfield.
Wiltshire kept battling on and, with the help of Matt Hunt, was able to steer his side to a score of 77 of 27 overs before being bowled for 30. It would be Hunt who would shoulder most of the run-scoring burden from here on in. He reached a score of 43 before being caught in the 38th over; an innings which, along with cameos of 12 from Ross Holbrook and 14 not out from Simon Turner, helped Melksham reach a below-par but not uncompetitive score of 135-6 of 40 overs.
Marshfield got the better of the 2nd innings’ opening exchanges and were soon well on their way to victory with a score of 40 for no loss of 7. Freddie Honeybone and Liam Merrett struck in back-to-back overs to hand Melksham a much-needed boost, but Marshfield remained firmly on the front foot, reaching a score of 92-2 by the 16th over.
Rich Hemmings claimed a wicket in the 17th over to hand his side a lifeline, but the hosts would need much more than this, and quickly, if they were to have any chance of sneaking a win. 3 wickets in 4 overs, 2 from Veacock and 1 from Mark Mullis, gave Melksham a brief flicker of hope; but in the end Marshfield got over the line with 4 wickets in hand.
Melksham 2nd XI also suffered defeat in their game away to Beehive Southwick 2s. Fielding first, the visitors were made to suffer for most of the innings, with a fine 101 from Clive Warren leading the hosts to a score of 149-1 inside 30 overs. Melksham did enjoy something of a comeback during the final 10 overs though. Daniel Carpenter (4-39) and Chris Long (3-13) were able to trigger a late flurry of wickets, but Beehive were nonetheless able to reach a commanding score of 204-9 of 40 overs.
The reply could not possibly have got off to a more embarrassing start. Melksham lost 4 of their top 5 batsmen for ducks, and when Long was removed for just 7, his side were left to contemplate the prospect of total humiliation with the scoreboard reading 14-5. Carpenter, the sole survivor of this top-order decimation, and Sean Hooper were on hand to lead a recovery though, fighting their way to 67-5 by the end of 24th over.
Carpenter then fell for 31; but Melksham were able to keep some momentum going, even with the game now seemingly out of reach, thanks to the efforts of Hooper. He reached a handy score of 47, bowled painfully short of what would have been an impressive fifty. Andy Footner was able to ensure the Melksham scorecard had a veneer of respectability, blitzing a quickfire 33 not out to guide his side to a score of 147, but in the end, Melksham still finished comfortably second best; being bowled all-out inside 39 39 overs as Beehive claimed victory by a margin of 57 runs.
Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank L&W Roofing for their kind sponsorship of the matchball used for the 1st XI’s game against Marshfield 2nd XI.