1st XI, Match Reports, News

MELKSHAM DETHRONE CHRISTIAN MALFORD FROM TOP OF THE TABLE

The 1st XI came out on top during a rain affected low scoring thriller away to Christian Malford, in the process moving to the top of the Division 4 table as the season reaches its halfway stage.

With rain before and during the match reducing the contest to just 29 overs a side, Melksham skittled their opponents out for just 91 during the 1st innings, with the inform Chris Long leading the charge with figures of 3-6 off 7. The run-chase was not without its nervy moments, but in the end the visitors got over the line by a margin of 6 wickets, with Lewie Simmons top scoring with an unbeaten 24.  

The 1st innings got underway with Melksham once again making a ferocious start with the ball. Rich Hemmings made the initial breakthrough in the 3rd over, with him and Long then striking five times between them to reduce Malford to a paltry 18-5 off 7. Although neither bowler would go onto claim another wicket, both continued to apply the pressure brilliantly – with Long being particularly impressive with 5 maidens from his 7 overs – to restrict the hosts to just 40-5 off 14.  

Malford’s 6th wicket pairing did have more joy in the following overs, pushing their side to a score of 71 by the 19th over.  However, in their desperation to claim late runs, the homeside gave away 3 runouts in what would go on to be a tail-end collapse. These blunders, along with a wicket-a-piece from spinners Mark Mullis and Chris Singh, ensured that Melksham would be chasing a target of below three-figures.

Quite quickly the run-chase proved not to be straight forward however. Openers Adam Mitchell (8) and Simon Turner (5) were both dismissed inside the first 4 overs, giving a fire-up Malford every reason to believe that they were still in with a chance. Melksham’s 3rd wicket partnership of Mark Wiltshire and Joe Veacock were on hand to steady the ship though, and by the 19th over the duo had steered the side to a position of 61-2 off 19. 

The drama wasn’t quite done yet though, with both men dismissed soon after to once again give Malford a glimmer of hope. Fortunately, middle-order batsmen Simmons and Matt Hunt were able to hold their nerve though guiding their side home with less than 4 overs to spare, claiming a seventh win in succession and in the process dethroning Malford at the top of the table.

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