The 2nd XI chalked up yet another win at the weekend, cruising to a dominant 177-run win at home against a depleted Biddestone 4s.
A 160-run opening stand between Dan Carpenter and Ian Doyle set the tone for the afternoon, with Melksham in the end finishing on 284-7 against a Biddestone side who persevered well in the field despite only fielding 9 players. The homeside had little difficulty in defending their total, with Tom Watling (3-20) leading the way as Melksham bowled their opponents out for 107.
Carpenter and Doyle wasted little time in racking up the runs as the 1st innings got underway, with the latter scoring particularly quickly. Despite some tidy bowling from Biddestone’s openers, the amount of space vacated in the field meant that both batsmen had little trouble finding gaps. By the 14th over the score had already reached a hundred, with both openers reaching their fifties in good time and continuing to pile on the runs. Only in the 24th over did Biddestone finally claim the first wicket of the afternoon when Carpenter was bowled for 62.
Although the run-rate did slow down somewhat during the 2nd half of the innings, Melksham were nonetheless well on their way to posting an unassailable total. Doyle was in the end dismissed 71 after being caught in the deep, but Melksham were able to keep going thanks to the efforts of Tony Trotman (36) and John Wiltshire (30). These knocks, along with a quickfire cameo of 18 from Rich Hemmings, helped Melksham finish just 16-runs shy of 300 come the end of their 45 overs.
The 2nd innings did begin with a minor scare for Melksham, with Biddestone opener Brad Anderson hammering 5 well struck boundaries in the first 3 overs to get his side off to a fast start. Luckily Tom Watling was on hand to reassert control for Melksham, bowling one of his infamously flighty deliveries to bowl Anderson for 22. Watling and fellow opener Steve Burns then got the job done against Biddestone’s top order by reducing the visitors 61-5 of 18, with Watling taking 3 wickets whilst Burns picked up 2.
Finn Evans was the next to claim a wicket, indebted to a sharp catch from Jonny House, who produced an excellent performance in the field. Although victory was now inevitable, Biddestone’s lower order did battle on a few overs thereafter. In the end it was a wicket from Wiltshire and a run-out Watling which got Melksham over the line for the 5th victory of the season, a victory which leaves them 2nd in the table; just 2 points behind league leaders Trowbridge 3s.
MCC WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE COBBLERS BENCH FOR SPONSORING THE MATCHBALL FOR THIS GAME.