The 2nd XI moved to the top of the Division 8 table at weekend with a commanding 10-wicket victory away to Calne 4s.
A dominant bowling display from Melksham restricted Calne to a score of just 111 from 39.5 overs, with Tom Watling once again the stand-out performer with the ball; registering figures of 4-22 off 9. Opening batsmen Ian Doyle (52*) and Dan Carpenter (35*) then made light work of their easy target, with the captain making his second half-century in as many matches to lead his side to the summit of the table.
After losing the toss and put into bowl, Melksham made a solid start thanks to a tight opening spell from Chris Long. It was not until the 12th over however that the visitors claimed their first wicket afternoon via the unlikely source of Matt Hunt. Although Calne weren’t completely quiet with the bat during the opening half of the innings, a further wicket for Hunt as well the first of the afternoon for Watling put Melksham firmly in control, with the scoreboard reading 67-3 after 20 overs.
As the innings progressed the momentum only swung further in Melksham’s favour. Long returned to the attack for a second spell and finally picked up a much-deserved wicket, before a wicket from Tony Trotman (1-18) and 2 from Luke Wilkins (2-9) suddenly put Calne on the brink of being skittled for a low total. It would be Watling who would deliver the final blows, taking 3 quickfire wickets during his second spell to leave the homeside all out for barely over a hundred.
Skipper Doyle opened the batting with the in-form Carpenter in the hopes of knocking off the target as efficiently as possible. This indeed was how the innings transpired, with Doyle leading the way with a captain’s innings to get his side over the line inside 20 overs with all 10-wickets in hand. Victory puts Melksham top of the table by a slender margin of 2 points with just under half of the season played.