Martham beat another of their promotion rivals to go marching on at the top

Action from Saturday's Norfolk Alliance Premier Division game between Old Buckenham and Fakenham, wh

Action from Saturday's Norfolk Alliance Premier Division game between Old Buckenham and Fakenham, which ended up being curtailed by rain. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

After a tough two weeks’ cricket against Norfolk Alliance Division Three promotion candidates, Martham hosted second placed Great Melton at the Coronation Ground.

And there was another impressive victory for the league leaders, who cruised home by eight wickets to move 33 points clear at the top of the table with five matches left to play.

The home side won the toss and asked their visitors to bat first.

Melton started well enough, putting on a good opening stand against Martham’s opening bowling attack which suggested a tough afternoon ahead.

However a change of bowling, bringing Will Oakey’s spin and Muthu Lanka’s unerring pace changed the course of the match very quickly. Oakey finishing with 2-25 and Lanka with 2-18.

By this stage Melton were really struggling to amass enough runs, and this wasn’t helped by the third change of bowlers, Lewis Dunn and Harry Chanchalani.

The runs remained sparse and Martham’s grip on the game remained firm, with Harry Chanchalani returning 4-33 from his nine overs, which included an outstanding diving catch from the safe hands of Finn Grist.

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The tail wagged for Melton, with a good 10th wicket stand eventually hauling the score up to 157-9.

This is not usually enough on Martham’s excellent batting strip, and so it proved. Martham reached their target with consummate ease in the 34th over. Grist adding a scintillating 43 not out, and Jack Whatmough a match winning 67 not out, punishing good balls and bad — to win by eight wickets.

Back to the next game away to Sprowston A tomorrow, where Martham will not want to waste the excellent work of the last three weeks.

Elsewhere in Division Three Acle A are fourth after an impressive five wicket victory over Swardeston A.

Chasing a respectable total of 200-9 they got home in the 43rd over, with an opening partnership of 97 between Rob Porter (58) and Owen Gooch (50) setting the platform for the victory.

Winterton also won, seeing off Old Buckenham A in a low scoring game.

They were restricted to 131-9 (Ben Utting 33) before bowling their visitors out for just 115 (Kevin Percival 3-15).

Acle A host Winterton tomorrow.