The 2nd XI were not at the races during their first home game of the season, losing by 48-runs against a high-scoring Winsley 4ths.
An innings of 110 from main man Rob Hawkins helped the visitors reach a dominant score of 221, although a late fightback from Melksham led by Steve Burns did help limit the damage. In reply the hosts lost too many cheap wickets to mount a serious challenge, eventually falling well short of their target despite a valiant late effort from Dan Carpenter.
The host’s day got off to a cracking start when Andy Footner claimed a wicket in the 1st over courtesy of a catch from Carpenter. This quickly proved to be a false dawn though, with Hawkins getting stuck straight into Melksham’s bowlers upon arriving at the crease. By the 20th over he and his partner John Iles had already amassed a hundred-run partnership, with an increasingly despondent Melksham side struggling to stem the runs.
Only in the 22nd over was the partnership broken, thanks to Brad Wilkins bowling Iles for 48. Hawkins was to remain for a little while yet though, guiding his side to a score of 181 by the 27th over before being caught in the deep by Tom Watling off the bowling of Burns. Only now did Melksham begin to fightback in the match, with Burns being primary architect, registering impressive figures of 4-37. Watling and Footner claimed 2 further wickets each, and thanks to this late effort from the hosts Winsley were restricted to a score of 220; a lofty total but one that still left Melksham with a realistic chance.
This chance was quickly put in jeopardy though by a troubled start to the 2nd innings, with Ross Holbrook (7), Tony Trotman (1), and Brad Wilkins (2) all falling victim to catches early on to leave the score at 30-3 off 6. Opener Dan Carpenter emerged unscathed though and was now joined at the crease by skipper Ian Doyle. Melksham 4th wicket pairing stayed at the crease for a long time, hoping to keep their side’s chances alive by taking the match deep. By the 30th over they had gently guided their side to 109-3, with Doyle on 43 and Carpenter on 40.
The required run-rate was creeping up however, meaning that a big push was required in the final 15 overs. However, Doyle was then bowled first ball of the 31st over, triggering a rapid lower-order collapse which suddenly left Melksham dead and buried on 130-9. Remarkably opener Carpenter remained though, having survived all but one of his team-mates in the middle. With nothing to lose, he launched into a late flurry of boundary scoring to help give his side something to shout about. In the end however he was bowled for 74, leaving Melksham substantially short of their target on 172 all out.
What next? The 2nd XI will look to redeem themselves during a home match against Calne 3s.