The 1st XI were successful in their bid to make it five wins from five this weekend, claiming a 4-wicket victory away to Marlborough 2s.
The 1st innings saw the visitors concede 217-8, with Luke Wilkins emerging as pick-of-the-bowlers with figures of 2-32 off 9 overs. In the end the poor weather came to Melksham’s aid, with the rain throughout the second innings meaning that the target was eventually reduced to 179 on DLS, with the score chased down thanks to fifties from Simon Turner and Russ Collins.
The afternoon got off to a roaring start when opener Liam Merrett struck in the first ball of the second over. No further breakthroughs were immediately forthcoming though, and by the 10th over Marlborough had gone past 40 to leave the contest on level pegging after the opening stages. The rest of the innings ebbed and flowed between the 2 sides, with Melksham picking up wickets regularly enough to keep them in the contest, but with Marlborough scoring enough runs to keep them just ahead. As well as a great spell from surprise package Wilkins, there were also 2 wickets for Joe Veacock, 1 from skipper Adam Mitchell, and run outs from Turner and Matt Hunt.
The start of Melksham’s response was a shaky one. First main-man Mitchell was caught for 8, then number 3 Lewie Simmons was bowled for 9; leaving Melksham in a spot of bother on 25-2. Fortunately for Melksham, number 4 batsman Russ Collins was on hand to rescue his side from their early peril. He smashed his way to quickfire 55, helping Melksham reach 98-3 before being bowled in the 18th over. Opener Turner was meanwhile holding the innings together nicely, having complied a steady 22 up to this point.
Joe Veacock was next to the crease and was able to continue the good work of Collins. Thanks to his and Turner’s efforts Melksham were firmly in the ascendency by the 25th over having reached a score of 140-3. The inclement weather was also now playing into Melksham’s favour, in the end reducing the length of the innings by 9 overs and subsequently lowering the required target to 179. Although the later stages of the run-chase weren’t without scares for the visitors, with Veacock (32), Turner (59), and Chay Forester (5) all late casualties, in the end Melksham claimed a deserved victory, with Brad Wilkins (4*) and Matt Hunt (1*) seeing the team over the line.