The Morrish Sports Ground, Summer Rd, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, IP31 3AH

Long Melford: 261/8 (45 Overs)

Walsham le Willows: 218 all out (38.3 Overs)

Long Melford won by 43 runs

Playing cricket in April often involves jumpers, rain delays and green pitches but the recent dry spell meant there were no such issues in this game. Melford won the toss and, unsurprisingly, elected to bat first and the lightning-fast outfield helped them to 51 without loss after 10 overs. A change of bowling brought a breakthrough for Walsham in the 12th Over, as Ashley Forbes picked up where he left off last week and trapped Grant Hancock LBW for 35. Forbes repeated the process to remove the other opener, Kieran Pettit, just after bringing up his half century. James French’s aggressive 63 from as many balls put Walsham on the back foot again but Barry Lynn snaffled a good catch at Deep Mid Wicket to remove him in the 35th Over with the score at 180-3. This gave Oli Jackson his first of 6 wickets for the afternoon as the Melford batsmen continued to attack. Fortunately, there was no repeat of last week’s catching issues for Walsham, as both Forbes and Ali Waugh held onto chances in the deep off Jackson’s bowling. With two LBW shouts going Jackson’s way and a stumping for keeper Joe Scarce off the final ball of the innings, Melford finished on 261/8

The Walsham reply got off to a furious start with openers Liam Bryant and Joe Scarce able to make the most of some loose bowling and the quick outfield to bring the total to 100 inside 15 overs. Bryant made his 50 shortly after but Scarce was dismissed caught behind in the next over with the score at 107. Walsham, however, were unable to convert the strong start into a win as the middle order failed to fire. Jason Harvey and Jason Wade brought back some much needed control for the home side and when Harvey trapped Bryant LBW for 74 in the 31st over with the score at 162-4, the game was in the balance. Wickets, however, continued to fall at an alarming pace, Harvey collecting 6 of them to match Jackson’s haul in the first innings, and the Walsham chase ran out of steam. A quickfire 20 not out from 17 balls from Finn Daly batting at number 10 brought the target within sight but there was too much to do and Walsham were bowled out for 218 in the 39th over, 43 runs short.