The 2nd XI were frustrated in their attempts to climb out the relegation zone at the weekend, losing at home to Marshfield 3s by 40 runs.
Stand-in skipper Tom Watling won the toss and elected to field first, a decision he would have initially rued when the visitors got off to an electric start with 27 runs coming off just 3 overs. Although Marshfield did not quite match this frenetic run-rate during the following overs, they were nevertheless able to rack up an impressive 55 runs off just 10 overs.
The momentum of the innings then changed completely thanks to the introduction of Watling and Tony Trotman into the attack. The later picked up the host’s first wicket of the afternoon in the 11th over, with the former claiming one for himself 3 overs later, leaving Marshfield 76-2. Watling and Trotman then turned the heat up dramatically, taking 5 wickets within just 7 overs to leave their opponents reeling on 95-7 off 25. Both bowlers ended their game changing spells with impressive figures; Watling ended with an economical 4-13, whilst Trotman finished 3-39.
Sadly, the hosts were unable to finish their opponents there and then, with Marshfield’s 8th wicket partnership dragging their side back from the brink. Youngsters Finn Evans and Martha Honeybone bowled well during the later stages of the innings but were unable to make a key breakthrough thanks to some positive but sensible Marshfield batting. In the end the visitors finished on a healthy total of 164 all out, with Daniel Carpenter taking the final 3 wickets right at the death.
Melksham would have felt confident as they went out to chase down the target, but this confidence was utterly shattered in the opening overs. Carpenter (2), Doyle (5) and Trottman (0), were all removed early to leave the homeside 11-3. Further calamity was still to come though; Tom Bew was removed for 12 in the following over, meaning Melksham were now starring down the barrel of a catastrophe.
Fortunately, the 5th wicket partnership of Sean Hooper and Dave Light was on hand to provide Melksham with a lifeline. Both batsmen were initially cautious, mindful that their side could ill afford to lose any more wickets. After 10 overs the duo had scored a merge 18 runs between them, but from this point onwards runs began to flow more frequently. Hooper in particular treated his team mates to some impressive shots, including 2 sixes, as Melksham finally got their innings underway. Light took somewhat longer to get going, but eventually he too would eventually begin to score regular boundaries, seemingly giving Melksham a way back into the contest.
Unfortunately, the momentum was stifled in the 30th over was Hooper was caught for 34. Light continued to fight on for his side, reaching an impressive fifty in the process, but none of his partners were unable to stay with him for long. In the end Melksham’s innings was ended on 124, with Light finishing his heroic innings 56 not out.
Melksham CC would like thank DK Locksmiths for their kind sponsorship of the matchball for the 2nd XI’s game vs Marshfield 3s.