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Heavy seven-wicket defeat for Melksham

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Melksham 1s suffered yet another setback in their Division 4 campaign with a heavy 7-wicket defeat at home to Royal Wootton Bassett 2s, with the team undone by yet another disastrous batting collapse. 

Weary of the severe heat that would likely be a factor throughout the day, skipper Joe Veacock elected to bat first after winning the toss. This initially appeared to have been the wrong call however when Melksham suffered two early blows: first opener Freddie Honeybone was bowled for 1; then Russell Collins followed soon after in a similar fashion for just 6. It was subsequently left to father-and-son duo Roy and Joe Veacock to recover from this early setback, and the two thankfully succeeded in stopping any further rot. However, runs proved to be extremely hard to come by on a surface that generated little bounce; and with Wootton Bassett bowling a tight line and length, pressure soon told with the scoreboard far from ticking over regularly. After 22 overs, Melksham had only accumulated a meagre 60 runs.     

The innings then suddenly unravelled when Joe Veacock was bowled for 30. The necessity to up the run-rate soon took its toll on the batsmen who followed him, with the likes of Roy Veacock (18), AJ Hobbs (3), and Chris Singh (1) all dismissed attempting some extravagant shots. Daniel Carpenter (5) also went soon after, leaving the vulnerable tail well and truly exposed; with Wootton Bassett wasting little time in mopping it up. When the last wicket fell Melksham had finished on an embarrassing 83 off 34.4 overs, a total that even on such a difficult wicket would almost certainly be nigh-impossible to defend. 

The start of Wootton Bassett’s innings did serve to inject the home side with some optimism, with Andy Footner trapping both openers LBW to leave the visitors 9-2 off 7. Footner and his fellow opener Gary Ings were exceptional in the first dozen overs; with the latter especially impressive, only conceding 5 runs in his 6 overs which included 4 maidens. Sadly, Melksham could not follow up their early success with more quick wickets; and although Wootton Bassett were not exactly sprinting towards the target, it was quickly evident that Melksham’s early breakthroughs were something of a false dawn. Chris Singh did claim one more wicket for his side, but Wootton Bassett nevertheless reached their target within 30 overs.

A sixth defeat in nine games leaves Melksham languishing just one place above the Division 4 relegation zone, albeit with a fairly healthy points cushion between themselves and the team below. The team will certainly be hoping that the approaching second half of the season will yield far more success than the disappointing first half has.    

Melksham Cricket Club would like to thank Rich Hemmings Window Cleaning Services for their kind sponsorship of this match. 

Fifth defeat of season for MelkshamSat. 22nd June. Division 4Ramsbury 248-7 Melksham 200 all out

Melksham 1s’ indifferent season continued with a 5th defeat of the season during a mid-table clash away to Ramsbury, with the team’s inability to break up a prolific 2nd wicket partnership proving to be their undoing during a high-scoring contest.  

Losing the toss and forced into the field, Melksham’s afternoon got off to the best possible start when Matt Lee claimed a wicket with just the second ball of the game; a wicket which the visitors hoped would be a sign of things to come. The complete opposite proved to be true however, as Ramsbury’s 2nd wicket partnership wasted no time in recovering from their early setback. Skipper Freddie Walker led the charge with some bombastic hitting, whilst his partner Dave Smith took a more conservative approach. Frustrations grew quite quickly amongst the Melksham fielders, frustrations that were only amplified by some crucial missed opportunities to remove both batsmen.

Even as new bowlers came and went from the bowling attack, no breakthrough was forthcoming as Ramsbury’s score continued to accumulate. Eventually captain Joe Veacock took matters into his own hands, dismissing Smith for 73 in the 39th over to end a colossal 209-run partnership. Walker soon followed, finishing on a match defining 111, as suddenly wickets began to fall regularly. Veacock emerged with figures of 4-45, whilst Matt Lee ended the innings on 2-25; but with Ramsbury finishing up on 248-7, Melksham knew they had a serious chase on their hands. 

A quick start was crucial for the travelling side and thankfully they got just that. Openers Daniel Carpenter and Tim Edwards wasted little time in getting the scoring going, motoring their side to 41 after just 7 overs. Unfortunately, the momentum would not last as Carpenter was caught behind for 18, with Edwards following soon after when he was bowled for 19. The match was now at a crucial crossroads with the score at 51-2, with the in-form pair of Veacock and Russell Collins now at the crease. Both batsmen initially looked comfortable; but when Veacock was then bowled for just 8 in the 12th over, Melksham suddenly knew that any aspirations of a thrilling victory were now seriously jeopardized. 

Collins was now joined by Tom Bew and the two did manage to steady the ship for a short time, helping the team reach 100 runs by the 18th over. Sadly, Collins went soon after, and this triggered a major collapse, which effectively put Melksham’s hopes to bed; the away side now stranded on 112-7 by the 22nd over. 

The new incumbents at the crease Chris Singh and Chris Long reassessed the situation and opted to take a more moderate approach, trying to claim as many batting bonus points as possible rather than chase the unrealistic match target. They gradually succeeded in claiming these points, and Singh over time began to go on the offensive whilst Long maintained a cautious approach. Against all the odds the duo reached 191 by the 39th over, and Singh – having chalked up his first fifty of the season – decided to take the chance of snatching an incredible win, but unfortunately picked out a man in the deep. Melksham were able to reach the 200 mark but were then finished off soon after with a mere few balls of the innings left.

Melksham 2s on the other hand enjoyed a far more fruitful weekend, earning a convincing 68-run win over Calne 3s. After being put into bat first, Gareth Evans and Tim Cundick set the foundations with innings of 58 and 45 not out respectively, helping their side to 186 all out. Cundick would later produce a stellar bowling performance, finishing with figures of 3-24, to help see his side comfortably home. James Walters also impressed with the ball, ending up with 3-33 after his 6.4 overs 

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