Stubborn defence not enough to save Melford

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MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION TWO

Elmstead 230-6 beat Long Melford 85 by 145 runs

Long Melford skipper Gareth Boon won the toss and inserted high-flying Elmstead knowing rain was forecast and taking wickets would be the best opportunity to pick up valuable points.

Jon Butcher started quickly, Farid cautiously, and Butcher (18) was caught at mid-on off the bowling of Boon in the seventh over.

Hugh Walters took over from Jason Wade and three overs later he induced Kasif Nizami (26) to play on.

Boon introduced Ivan Newman, and Farid took a liking to his bowling. But expansive stroke-play caused his downfall when he was held at cover for an excellent 52 off Newman.

Mark Perrin and Elmstead skipper Daniel White kept the score ticking along, but when both fell in the 34th over, both caught at mid-off by Joe Harvey from the bowling of Walters, Melford were poised to push home the advantage.

But new batsmen Jack Cawley and Josh Elliot had other ideas.

Both attacked hard, and when Cawley (47) was removed in the penultimate over, the damage was done.

A 72-run partnership and some final over hitting from Elliot closed the innings on 230-6, Walters the pick of the bowlers taking three for 71 off 15 overs (four maidens).

Adam Matthews and Walters opened the Melford batting, Walters taking advantage of bowling that was initially untidy.

Zak Pushman took a sharp caught and bowled from a well-struck Walters’ shot to send him back for 20. Dale Brett joined Matthews, but four overs later Matthews was adjudged LBW for 12.

Joe Harvey (2) and Ben Taylor (0) were removed in the next over, Steve Martin (5) following six overs later. Wade’s wicket tumbled in the 25th over, and when Brett went in the next over for a hard-fought 27, Elmstead were racing the rain.

After an hour’s delay, despite some stubborn defending, the game was wrapped up by the 37th over, Melford all out for just 85.