Melford’s hopes hit by injury

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MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION TWO

Lakenheath 152-9

beat Long Melford 100

by 52 runs

Melford got off to a bad start when Stuart Whitehart was brought to his knees in the seventh after bowling his fourth delivery, a back problem forcing him to withdraw from the game.

Acting skipper Joe Harvey turned to Tom Barnard who found success in his second over by bowling Curtiss for 15.

This brought the dangerous Lakenheath batsman Shane Leech to the crease, but some tight bowling from Barnard and James French saw few boundaries.

When Barnard had Leech caught and bowled for 21, Luke Codrington then ran out Michael Reeve for one and the rest of Lakenheath’s order concentrated on supporting Palmer to build their total.

Palmer was held well in the deep by Steve Martin for 61, and Lakenheath’s 152-9 from their allotted 45 overs did not look too hard to achieve. Barnard and French both took three wickets.

Melford’s reply began to unravel in the third over. Barnard caught well at slip for 18.

Further anguish followed in the next over when Adam Matthews was bowled for five.

Harvey steadied the innings but could not carry it through, falling lbw for 15, eight overs later.

Some steady progress followed but when Brett was bowled and Luke Codrington caught in the same over the middle order had folded once again.

Melford keeper Dan Heath marshalled the tail to try to steer Melford home but at 51-5 it seemed a tall order.

Despite Heath’s hard hitting for an entertaining 34, the tail could not support him, and Melford eventually slumped to 100 all out from just 33 overs.

The result leaves Melford in sixth place, at the head of the relegation pack. On Saturday they travel to Ipswich, one of their bottom half rivals.