Melford climb to the top
MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES
Bury St Eds II (81-8 )
Long Melford (177-8 )
Long Melford opened up a four-point lead at the top of Division Three, despite seeing their trip to in-form Bury St Edmunds II abandoned on Saturday.
After starting the season with four wins from their opening four games, Melford travelled to fellow table-toppers Bury St Edmunds at the weekend.
In overcast conditions and with Bury winning the toss, Melford were asked to bat first, with Cameron Stace and Ben Barnbrook opening up.
After a slow start both fell early on to the left arm of Billy Riddick (2-16), but a third-wicket stand of 66 between Josh Arendse (58) and Sam Blackman (19) saw the visitors start to rebuild to 76-3.
The introduction of Oliver Riddick (2-29) saw Bury soon making inroads into the Melford line-up, and he claimed both Arendse and Blackman in quick succession.
Only a rearguard counter by skipper Jason Wade (47) and with the tail supporting helped Melford finish on 177-8 from a rain-affected 45 overs.
With conditions now really suiting Melford’s attack, James French and Chris Sturgeon opened up the bowling.
Sturgeon struck first, removing Bury opener Josh Toon for zero, giving Arendse the first of his four catches from behind.
French (6-39) then found his aggressive line and length and the rhythm from previous weeks to go and claim the next six Bury wickets, leaving the hosts without a chance of victory or even the extra batting point.
But as the dark clouds came in around the Victory Ground, and even with the slow bowling of Tom Bigg (1-7), the game was abandoned with Bury floundering at 81-8 from 30 overs for bad light, and finally huge downpours.
Melford (1st) now prepare for a trip to fourth-placed Little Bardfield Village on Saturday (1pm).