Long Melford 111 lost to
by 10 wickets
Long Melford slipped to their first defeat of the 2016 season after Maldon cruised to a 10-wicket victory at the weekend.
Gareth Boon’s men entertained a Maldon side who would ask the first difficult question of Long Melford this year.
Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, Steve Martin and Tom Barnard opened for Melford, with Gary Bannister and overseas import Matt Anderson taking the new ball for the visitors.
With eight overs of steady accumulation from the batsmen, Maldon finally made the breakthrough in the ninth over when Barnard (18) was caught at mid wicket.
Cameron Stace was removed in the next over for a duck, and two overs later Joe Harvey also departed, again with zero scored.
Ben Taylor’s home debut lasted three overs until he was caught at point for nought, before Adam Matthews was then run out for just three runs following a disastrous piece of miscommunication with Martin.
The Melford opener meanwhile had weathered the carnage at the other end, but the second bowling change of the innings saw him clean bowled by Freddie Clark for a well-earned 30.
Maldon sensed the disarray in Melford’s batting and began setting more aggressive fields, with a view of removing the tail quickly and pushing on for the win.
As usual, Dale Brett and Jason Wade had other ideas, coming together with the score at 53-6 they began a slow and watchful vigil to recover the innings.
Maldon changed the bowling three more times to introduce spin into the game and ask a different question, but Brett and Wade stood firm.
Wade eventually fell for a hard-fought 13 runs from a staggering 46 balls, stumped from a leg side take by the excellent Maldon wicket-keeper Jimmy Ainscough.
With overs running out, Brett began taking the attack to Maldon and was eventually caught at mid wicket for 31, again from a huge total of 81 deliveries which reflects the work he and Wade put in.
The remainder of the tail saw the skipper Boon add one and Ashley Skeggs 10 as Melford finished all out for 111 after 44.3 overs.
Maldon opened their innings with Chris Harris (54 not out) and Reece O’Connell (53 no), as the second new ball was taken by Boon and Wade.
The visitors showed intent, skill, and above all, patience from the start, and despite numerous changes from the Melford skipper, the bowlers could force no error and after 20.4 overs the game was won.