Academy youngsters prove too strong

Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson

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Saturday found Kimberley Institute on the end of a humbling defeat by the Notts Academy as the hosts chased down a modest target of 196 with almost ten overs to spare; showing them just how to conduct a run chase in the process.

Opting to bat first Kimberley had a nightmare start when Sam Ogrizovic offered no shot first ball to Ben Kitt (3-48) and was on his way lbw.

His partner Sam Johnson (62) was joined by Tom Rowe (16) and they added 31 for the second wicket with Rowe playing some lovely straight drives against Kitt, although not so much against his new ball partner Paul Franks – his seven overs going for just 12 and he looks a fine prospect for the future.

Kitt though had his revenge when Rowe nibbled at one just outside off-stump and Keast took the catch behind the stumps in the 11th over.

Dom Brown (28) joined Johnson at the wicket with the latter becoming more fluent after a watchful start and together they added 70 runs for the third wicket and as drinks came and went Kimberley looked well set to post a competitive score.

A score of 101-2 became 132-6 though inside nine overs as Kimberley’s middle order crumbled.

Brown was first to go after being bowled by Tillcock, Alex Aldred was run out after virtually running two on his own and then Elliot Bowles (2-17) did his former team mates no favours when he bowled Johnson and squared up George Bacon who edged to slip.

Dominic Wheatley (29*) and Alex King (13) tried to pick up the pieces with a stand of 39 for the seventh wicket, but after King’s fall to Kitt in the 46th just 24 runs followed in the final overs as Kimberley finished well short of par on 195-7 – and that was also helped by 24 extras.

Bacon (2-32) did give them a glimmer of hope when he had Azad caught behind by Harry Ratcliffe off just the second ball of the innings and again when New top edged a pull to Rowe at square leg in the fifth, but having the Academy 15-2 was as good as it ever got for Kimberley as Jake Libby (86*) and another Kimberley youth product, Anuj Dal (75), combined to add a hefty 160 runs for the third wicket as they gave Kimberley the run around in the field.

Whilst there was some pressure early on the pair absorbed it and thanks to a lot of no nonsense cricket and good running they simply batted Kimberley out the game and made the bowling look toothless.

As drinks came there were only ten runs between the two sides in comparison, but whereas Kimberley faltered, Libby and Dal just upped the tempo and the runs flowed.

A superb one-handed effort from Ratcliffe to remove Dal via a Brown delivery did at least give Kimberley another point, but it was of little consolation in the context of the match as they were well and truly beaten when Tillcock (15*) struck the winnings runs at the start of the 41st over.

There was another seven wicket win in the 2nd XI’s match, but this time it was in Kimberley’s favour as they thumped Eastwood in the local derby.

Two wickets from Jack Blatherwick (3-59) left Eastwood at 40-2 but an 87-run partnership for the 3rd wicket between opener Marsh (82) and captain Gregory (36) brought them back into the game before Sukhdeep Sidhu (4-41) broke it with the first of his four victims.

Pearson came in and smashed 23 off just 14 balls before the wily Jon Terry bowled him and with Liam Webb claiming the big wicket of Marsh, Eastwood’s innings tailed off as Sidhu worked his way through lower order with Blatherwick also coming back to claim his third as Eastwood were all out for 236 with three balls left of their innings.

Openers Krutarth Dave (20) and James Taylor (39) set the tone for Kimberley’s reply with near run-a-ball knocks; although neither could kick on and make a half-century.

James Griffiths (74*) and Blatherwick (65) picked up where they left off though as they added 134 runs for the third wicket to all but see Kimberley home; Griffiths striking nine fours and Blatherwick seven fours and one six before he was stumped with just 14 needed.

Vaughan Hamilton (9*) helped Griffiths to seal the victory in just the 37th over with an emphatic pull shot for four.

Elsewhere the promotion bids of both the third and fourth XI’s were boosted by another brace of victories.

The 3rd XI overcame West Bridgford Legion thanks to a superb all round performance from Danny Williams as his unbeaten 77 helped them to post 153-8 and then his 5-19 helped to bowl out the Legion for 84.

The 4th XI annihilated promotion rivals Madni.

The visitors were only able to field ten men and were bowled out for just 39 as Paul Blatherwick (6-13) and Alex Beale (3-22) blew them away and the reply only lasted seven overs as Charlie Walters (22*) and Archie Moore (15*) sealed the victory.