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Melksham succumbed to their first defeat of the season in a top of the table clash away to a free-scoring Erlestoke.
After winning the toss and electing to field, young Freddie Honeybone gave Melksham early cause for optimism, taking a catch of Chris Long’s bowling to dismiss opener, Toby Dorgan, for just 9.
Matt Lee was able to give the visitors further encouragement with a tidy spell of bowling on his debut for the club, conceding just 24 runs from his nine overs.
As the innings progressed into its middle phase, Melksham then began to see themselves frustrated by both dropped catches in the field and dogged batting by Erlestoke. Nevertheless, 2 wickets in the 30th over from Chris Singh left Melksham in a somewhat satisfactory position heading into the final third, with Erlestoke sitting on 130-3.
This satisfaction was soon brutally shattered by the arrival of Joe Dorgan to the crease. The home side’s star man quickly set about annihilating the Melksham bowlers in an impressive display of batting which saw him post a colossal 110 of just 51 balls, hitting 8 fours and 7 sixes along the way. Dorgan’s onslaught saw Erlestoke reach 284-4, leaving the now demoralised Melksham an intimating target to chase.
The forlorn attempt to reach 285 did get off to a decent start, the away side reaching 103-1 inside 20 overs. Tom Wallis impressed the most with a quickfire 69 off 64 balls. However, Wallis’ fellow top order batsmen Daniel Carpenter (23) and Matthew Hunt (36) were the only other players to reach double figures. The reply then quickly ran out of steam as the pressure to keep up with the required rate increased, with the middle and lower order collapsing inside the final 10 overs.
Melksham finished on 196 all out off 40.1 overs to fall to an 88-run defeat, a defeat that sees them dethroned at the top of the table by their impressive opponents.
Melksham CC would like to thank Autotech for their continued support.