Kimberley Institute were left to rue conceding 12 crucial runs in the final over of their match with Mansfield Hosiery Mills to lose by three wickets .
That was despite a fabulous century from Sam Johnson (103* ); and to rub salt in the wound it was ex-player Matt Wright who hit the winning runs for the Millers.
Kimberley’s captain Sam Ogrizovic (15) won the toss and opted to bat first and he opened up with vice-captain Paldip Sidhu (36) and they were watchful in the opening overs as Wright and Kyle Garside (1-32) gave little away.
Ogrizovic fell in the 12th over before Bharat Popli (43) joined Sidhu to up the scoring rate before the spin of Sri Lankan Sudesh Fernando (2-39) found the edge of Sidhu’s bat and he had to depart when looking well set.
Enter Johnson, whose energy at the crease carried across to Popli and together they added 53 inside eight overs to take Kimberley to 128 before Popli gifted a catch to Wright at extra-cover to hand Fernando his second wicket.
But Johnson unveiled his collection of shots with cover-drives, delightful late cuts and several ramp shots making an appearance; indeed it was the latter that he used to bring up his century in the last over.
Dominic Brown (40*) played several nice shots of his own and provided valuable support to Johnson and together they added an unbeaten 116 for the fourth wicket to take Kimberley to 244-3 at tea – about a par score.
The Millers had a good start to their reply as Gareth Curtis (55)and Joe New (49) saw off the all spin new ball attack of Alex King and Chris Glover and added 102 before Dominic Wheatley (3-57) had New caught by Glover in the covers.
Atif Sheikh (3-79) then removed Tom New before Fernando (48) made a terrible call and ran out Curtis with Popli the fielder.
Kimberley were back in the game with the Millers 119-3 after 32; although they rather squandered the opportunity to take further wickets with Matt New (12) and Fernando adding 50 together, New removed when he played on to Wheatley with the score at 169 in the 38th over.
James Fraser hit the leather of a Wheatley delivery only to be caught by a fantastic diving effort from James Mann and then Fernando was the victim of another brilliant Mann catch to leave the score 208-6.
With Jayasinghe hitting Sheikh straight down Brown’s throat at long-on nine runs later it seemed that they would hang on for the winning draw with three overs remaining and 26 runs needed; they’d underestimated Mark Smallwood (36*) though who’d hit several boundaries and kept Hosiery Mills in with a chance.
Needing 12 to win from the final over to be bowled by Alex King; it started horribly as he fired a wide down the leg-side and Smallwood was able to get back on strike and get a two and single.
A dot followed and it was now seven needed from three, but King dropped one short and Wright’s eyes lit up as he mowed him for six to tie the scores. The field came up but couldn’t stop the single as the game was won on the penultimate ball.
The 2nd XI hung on for a losing draw against Long Eaton with Ben Savage (51*) steering the hosts home at the end.
The visitors batted first and posted a huge 285-7 from their 48 overs with Tom Pepper (70) top scoring and Alan Villiers (56*). Danny Williams picked up four wickets with Ben Crouch taking two and Alex Aldred taking one.
The chase was never really on for Kimberley and it was just a case of holding on, and they largely did so barring some brief mini-collapses.
Vaughan Hamilton (38) dug in at the top of the order and after his fall with the score on 70-3, Williams (30) and Elliot Bowles (29) added 46 for the fourth wicket.
From 116-4 Kimberley kept losing wickets to find themselves 160-7, but Paul Blatherwick stonewalled the Long Eaton bowlers alongside Savage and after the former’s fall Crouch’s defences proved solid and the innings closed with the score on 201-8.
Kimberley thirds comfortably beat Gedling & Sherwood by 114 runs.
Having won the toss Kimberley lost Krutarth Dave early on, but Ben Johnson (42) showcased some lovely stroke play and along with Tim Wheatley (25) they took the score 76 in the 17th over before they both departed within three overs of each other. Millington and Wright succumbed quickly and at 136-5 in the 30th over there were slight concerns.
But Sam Beale (92) and Paul Taylor added 91 between them as the innings closed at 236-7.
Wickets fell frequently throughout the Gedling innings, with Tom Boyden claiming 3-26 and fellow opener Daniel Saxton picking up 2-27. But the bowling spell of the innings was once again from the irrepressible Sukhdeep Sidhu, whose accuracy was outstanding with 4-28 as Gedling were all out for just 122.
Luke Tantum struck another century (154) as Kimberley fourths beat Wymeswold by 98 runs.
Tantum and Luke Barlow (27) added 90 for the first wicket as Kimberley eventually made a huge 269-9, John Aldred with a useful 33.
Wymeswold were never really in it reply as Alex Terry (2-26) reduced them to 18-2 and wickets fell at regular intervals from then on in. Nick Farmer (34) and James Toon (41) became two of Rich Kelley’s 5 for 63, the other wickets going to Liam Hodgkinson (1-27) and Barlow (2-23).