Chris Singh and Chay Forester were the heroes as Melksham got their season up and running at the second time of asking, securing a 3-wicket win away to Wanborough.
The visitors restricted their opponents to a modest score of 163 during the first innings, with Singh emerging as pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-36 off 9. Forester then stepped up for his side with the bat, scoring 69 to help Melksham get over the line despite a late wobble.
Skipper Adam Mitchell won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that was soon vindicated by 2 early wickets coming courtesy of openers Rich Hemmings (1-12) and Liam Merrett (1-32). No further breakthroughs were immediately forthcoming though, with Wanborough progressing through the following overs cautiously to reach a score of 44-2 by the 15th over.
Mitchell then turned to Singh and Russ Collins to recover his team’s early momentum, and the duo did not disappoint. Both struck early in their spells to leave Wanborough 50-4, with the runs mostly drying up thanks to the especially economical Collins. Singh then cashed in with a further 3 wickets, and thanks to him and Collins (2-13) the hosts were now in deep trouble on 99-8 off 31.
A late fight back from the tailenders would give Wanborough something to shout about, however. Mitchell and Mark Mullis claimed the final two wickets in the end, but by then Wanborough had reached 163, a score which at least kept them in the contest heading into the 2nd innings.
The beginning of the 2nd innings proved to be a frantic one. Boundaries were being struck regularly, but Melksham also suffered the major blows of losing key men Mitchell (12) and Collins (16), leaving the visitors 44-2 off 7 overs. Fortunately, Forester and the incoming Joe Veacock were able to settle the game down, taking a more cautious approach over the subsequent overs.
Over time the pair’s hard graft began to pay off. Veacock would eventually depart for a hard fought 29, but thanks to an 81-run partnership between him and Forester it looked like the game was Melksham’s to lose, with the scoreboard now reading 125-3 of 27. Although Wanborough gave Melksham a few scares towards the end of the innings, with late wickets including those of Simon Turner (4) and Matt Hunt (9), they nevertheless reached their target with 3 wickets to spare. Unfortunately, Forester was unable to see his side home personally, having been caught with his side just 5 runs shy of their target.
What Next: The 1sts will hope to make it two wins on the spin with an away day against Winsley 2s.