Birch brilliance can’t inspire win

Kimberley Institute bowler James Mann sends down a delivery against Wollaton at Newdigate Street on Saturday in a match that ended up in frustration for the home side.

Kimberley Institute bowler James Mann sends down a delivery against Wollaton at Newdigate Street on Saturday in a match that ended up in frustration for the home side.

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A brutal display of batting from Dan Birch helped Kimberley to a mammoth 311-5 against relegation-haunted Wollaton at Newdigate Street on Saturday.

But his unbeaten 180 still couldn’t quite force the win and they had to settle for 18 points and a winning draw.

Captain Ogrizovic opted to bat first and Birch and Akhil Patel (31) made a watchful start.

Patel led the way as the 50 partnership came up in the 13th over, but he was out three overs later and the scoreboard read 55-1.

Jon Terry (55) joined Birch at the crease and they compiled a 134-run stand for the second wicket.

Birch slowly upped the tempo as he pummelled the ball straight and repeatedly towards the leg-side boundary whilst Terry, cutting and driving with gusto, was his usual buccaneering-self.

Upon reaching his 50, Birch opened his shoulders and never looked back as he blasted his way towards three figures and took just 39 balls to get there; helped in due course by three huge sixes.

Terry brought up his own half-century before falling shortly after with the score at 189-2 in the 38th.

Birch had help from Paldip Sidhu (15) and Paul Riley (17) as Kimberley ran riot with the centurion scoring an astonishing 80 runs off just 35 balls to finish unbeaten on what is the record score in the NPL at Newdigate Street.

Wollaton’s reply was in trouble in the second over when Alex Reed-Brewer was out lbw to James Mann (2-36) and Kimberley began chipping away at the batting line-up.

Birthday boy Matt Wright (2-33) also contributed as the score soon became 66-5, Dom Wheatley in on the action too to see off Sam Johnson.

King (18) and Ian Dodd (62*) added 30 and took the total to 96 in the 22nd over before Chris Glover (1-23) trapped King LBW.

Wollaton then frustrated the hosts, who despite Patel and Riley (twice) taking wickets couldn’t get the final one to claim victory, the visitors holding on for the last three overs to earn a share of the points.

See www.eastwoodadvertiser.co.uk for reports on the second and third XIs.