Akhil Patel stole the show with a stunning innings of 122 as Kimberley ran out comfortable winners at already-relegated Kiveton Park.
Patel’s innings included 18 fours and four sixes, as Kimberley stormed to a 164-run victory.
The home team won the toss and asked Kimberley to bat first and they progressed to 39 without loss before Paldip Sidhu (19), after hitting three consecutive fours, was caught behind off Paul Clark (6-92), and with captain Sam Ogrizovic out to the same bowler two overs later Kimberley were wobbling slightly at 41-2.
Jon Terry (57) held things together with a restrained knock; not that he needed to be explosive as Patel was quite intent on dispatching the ball to all parts himself as he raced to his half-century in just 41 balls, with Terry bringing up his own off 73.
The pair added 109 runs inside 17 overs before Terry’s innings was ended via the spin of Lee Brooks (1-59) and it was then Dominic Wheatley’s (6) turn to stand at the non-strikers end and admire Patel’s brutal hitting as he raced to his hundred with another boundary off just his 78th delivery.
Whilst he rode his luck on occasions Patel’s sheer power and range of shots left Kiveton helpless to prevent him from scoring rapidly and whilst he played many big, booming drives throughout his innings, arguably the highlight of it was an audacious reverse sweep for four.
Having added 75 with Wheatley, Patel’s pyrotechnics were finally ended by the returning Clark as he lofted the ball to the mid-on fielder who – much to Kiveton’s relief – held on.
The score at this point was 225-4 in the 39th over and with Patel’s fall a mini-collapse ensued in the chase for runs as Wheatley, Paul Riley, Andy Platts and James Mann fell in quick succession to Clark and Luke Donaghy (1-37) which left the scoreboard reading 262-8 in the 46th over.
If Kiveton thought they had reigned Kimberley in they were about to be proved very wrong by Chris Glover who produced some fireworks of his own on his way to 34 not out off just 14 balls.
Matt Wright (8*) was forced to play second fiddle as 36 runs came up in two overs before Ogrizovic declared with Kimberley on an imposing 298-8 and gave his bowlers three extra overs to work with.
They weren’t to be needed though as Kiveton were bowled out in the 36th over for 134, and they only got that far thanks to a spirited last-wicket stand.
Wright (2-33) and Mann (1-29) removed both the openers, lbw and bowled respectively, in consecutive overs to leave the score at 21-2 before the highest stand of the innings between Matt Cartwright (29) and James Bullivant (12) took Kiveton along to 59-2 when Wright removed the latter, again lbw.
That was Wright’s last action in the bowling department as he pulled up with a tweaked hamstring at the beginning of his next over.
Glover (3-7) replaced the injured Wright and combined with Riley (4-48) to spin through the Kiveton lower order as, other than the punchy Richard Spurr (37*), they had no answer to the turning ball and the score went from 59-3 to 99-9.
When Riley clean bowled the number five bat the collapse began.
Ogrizovic took two catches behind the stumps, Mann and Glover one a piece and Wheatley, under the helmet at short leg, somehow managed to hold another after being hit amidships and just about clinging onto the ball on his way down in agony!
Chris Storey (11) did show some application however and with Spurr added 35 for the final wicket.
The bowlers were rotated, including youngster Joe Platts on his first team debut, as Kimberley tried to prise the last man out and as the skies darkened the threat of rain loomed, but the returning Riley sealed the win as he trapped Storey lbw to end his vigil.
The win gives Kimberley another 20pts and they can now look forward to finishing the season off in style at home against Caythorpe this Saturday.
The real drama of the weekend came away at Kirkby Portland where the 2nd XI held out for a losing draw in a nail-biting finish which saw them promoted, by the narrowest of margins, at the expense of the home team.
Batting first the home side were reduced to 83-5 with Richard Adams (5-53) and Ian Wright (2-32) doing the damage before a 62-run stand between Robbie Britton (39) and Jason Caunt (31) boosted their total somewhat.
From 145-5 Kirkby then collapsed to 167 all out with Adams snaffling both batsmen to seal his five-for and then Anuj Dal (3-20) polished off the tail to leave Kimberley chasing a gettable 168 to win.
The reply started well with Carl Blake (19) and Dal (36) adding 42 for the first wicket before the former was the first man out.
Mick Blatherwick (9) fell on 52 but Dal continued apace with Dominic Brown (12) and they added 31 runs before disaster struck.
From 83-2 the middle-order were skittled and suddenly the scoreboard read 90-8 and the game seemed lost with almost 20 overs to still to bat, but Kirby hadn’t reckoned on Kimberley’s resilience as captain Pete Wright (30*) and Prab Sidhu (15*) dug deep to hold on for the losing draw, enough to gain promotion to Division B.
The 3rd XI bowed out on a high with a thumping 99-run victory over Keyworth 2nd’s.
Batting first, they hand an excellent 69 from Luke Tantum to thank for helping them to compile a useful 221 before being all out in the 42nd over, Sam Nice the pick of the Keyworth bowlers with 3-17.
Keyworth got nowhere near in reply as they were bundled out for just 122.
Steve Bennett led the attack with handy figures of 3-7 and Charlie Walters also picked up 3-28 with the innings wrapped up in the 41st over.
The 4th XI travelled away to Breaston CC with both teams in a position to secure promotion with a victory.
Kimberley won the toss and chose to bat, but the Breaston bowlers set off well and Tim Wheatley fell for three in the ninth over there was much work to do.
But the fourth consecutive 50-run partnership between captain Paul Taylor (27) and 13-year-old Alex Aldred followed, giving a solid base for a strong looking middle order to press home the advantage.
Aldred completed his first senior half century and then fell for 59 to a direct hit, taking a quick single. Jack Blatherwick, aged 13, continued his good run of form with 24, 14-year-old Sanat Kulkarni stroked 20 in 17 balls and Paul Newton a rapid 31 in 16 balls.
With Dan Huskinson adding 14 not out the innings closed at 213-8.
The Breaston response launched with 12 off the first over, but the wily seam bowling of Huskinson settled the innings as he claimed the first two wickets with Gibson caught behind for 25 and then Colley falling in the 18th over for one run.
With 14 overs to bowl Breaston needed exactly 100 runs to win with five wickets left.
But Tom Boyden removed Jack Carter (42) thanks to a huge skier collected by Huskinson, before Newton claimed 5-33 in 9.1 overs and the innings closed at 156 and a 57 run margin of victory.
This victory saw a maximum 20 points gained for third week in a row taking KICC 4ths to a very creditable third place in Division N.
It is understood this third place will secure promotion, which is a real triumph for the club’s progressive youth policy.