Kimberley Institute defied several weather interruptions to frustrate West Indian Cavaliers and earn a rain-affected draw on Saturday.
With the forecast looking patchy, Kimberley skipper Sam Ogrizovic won the toss and opted to put the Cavaliers in and had an early reward when he took the catch to hand 16-year-old debutant LukeWebb (1-21) his first NPL wicket as Shaun Levy edged behind in the second over.
With only 11 on the board ex-Kimberley man Akhil Patel (35) was joined at the crease by Usman Afzaal (77).
Webb bowled a good line and from the other end Atif Sheikh (1-38) was getting the ball through at a good pace and received due reward when he trapped Patel lbw in the 17th over and the Cavs were 64-2.
Afzaal and Dominic Williamson (55) added 102 for the third wicket as spin-twins Alex King (3-57) and Chris Glover (1-53) kept things tight until two rain showers delayed proceedings.
When play resumed again Afzaal began to take the attack to Kimberley hitting 27 runs in seven balls before the wily King beat his bat to trap him lbw with the score at 166-3 after 38 overs.
The Cavs’ batting slowly disintegrated as they lost four wickets for just 18 runs looking for a declaration; Bilal Shafayat hit King straight down Glover’s throat at long-on to hand him a second wicket and then Rehman was bowled by King and the scoreboard read 194-5 after 44 overs.
Williamson was then run-out in the next over by a lithe piece of fielding on the mid-wicket boundary from John Terry as he stopped the ball, leapt up and hurled a rocket like throw to Ogrizovic who took off the bails to leave the score at 197-6, and the declaration came shortly after Glover had lured Aaron Thomas out of his ground to be stumped by his opposite number with the score at 205-7 at the end of the 47th over.
With the rain having made the match a timed game Kimberley had roughly 30-35 overs to try and chase down the Cavaliers total, but Ricky Anderson (5-55) demolished the top order to leave Kimberley reeling on 31-4.
But Ogrizovic and his vice-captain Paldip Sidhu (24) took the heat out of the game as they added 38 for the fifth wicket whilst the Cavs searched in vain for another dismissal.
Rehman (2-26) trapped Sidhu lbw in the 22nd over and then knocked James Mann’s off-stump out of the ground and at 69-6 Kimberley were in trouble once more.
Ogrizovic found a capable partner in King (8) whose knock was vital in helping his skipper save the game in the murky conditions as they took the score to 106 in the 31st over, but when Anderson beat King’s defences to snare him lbw, the Cavs thought the game was theirs for taking.
But Ogrizovic was unbowed and the unflappable Glover calmly saw off an Anderson over before the rain came again and put paid to any more cricket.
There was another dramatic game at Gotham, but not in the 2nd XI’s favour as they fell to a narrow two wicket defeat.
With rain reducing the game to 42 overs each the home side won the toss and asked Kimberley to bat and then bowled them out for just 101.
Vaughan Hamilton (20) and Steve Bennett (20) were the joint top scorers and Rob Goddard (4-27) was the pick of the Gotham bowling.
When Kimberley’s opening bowlers Beale (4-38) and young debutant Elliot Bowles (2-18) ripped through the top six with just 26 runs on the board it was the away side scenting victory.
Rain interrupted proceedings, but Goddard (24) and skipper Paul Blatherwick (33*) combined to add 60 for the 7th wicket with extras (25) also proving a helpful as the game edged towards Gotham.
Max Sugarman (1-18) broke the partnership when he bowled Goddard with the score on 86, but, despite Jack Blatherwick (1-4) picking up another wicket, the home side crept over the line in the 35th over.
The third XI also crashed to defeat in another low scoring encounter at Bingham.
In a match reduced to 30 overs apiece the home side asked Kimberley to bat first and they were all out for 68 ,Tim Wheatley (26) top scoring as George Farrell (6-26) ran amok.
Bingham’s victory march was not easy though as they only just got over the line in the final over; Ben Crouch (3-6) bowled superbly opening up to remove three of the top four, but the middle-order mustered enough runs between to see Bingham home.