Kimberley’s first XI produced an incredible end to the match to sneak a one-run victory over visitors Clifton Village on Saturday.
When Clifton were 132-4 needing 16 to win and having 13 overs in which to get them any Kimberley supporter would have been forgiven for thinking the game was gone.
But the visitors collapsed to defeat and became the victims in their own Sheikhsperian tragedy as Atif Sheikh (11.1-2-40-6) ripped through the lower order to hand Kimberley an astonishing win.
Victory seemed a mere dream when David Lucas (3-39) and Dominic Harvey (3-43) reduced Kimberley to 15-3 after just eight overs having asked them to bat first.
Jon Terry (32) and Dominic Brown (33) moved Kimberley along to 51 before Tim le Breton removed Terry to leave it 51-4 in the 20th over.
After that it was steady going as several scores in the teens edged Kimberley along, and at tea the final tally of 147-9 felt 50 runs light of what was needed.
Clifton’s reply began strongly with Scott McNeill (53) and Calum rowe (34) helping them to 99-1 in the 24th over.
Chris Glover removed Lowe and Sheikh saw off McNeill before Alex King (2-37)helped reduce Clifton to 132-5 in the 33rd.
Sheikh then took over, first sending Harvey’s stumps flying before an incredible 36th over saw him take three wickets, including a sensational diving catch from captain Sam Ogrizovic meaning Clifton were suddenly 144-9.
And after King bowled a maiden, Sheikh returned to round things off with a run out after a mix-up between the tail-enders, removing the stumps himself after good work from Ben Savage and triggering rapturous celebrations from the Kimberley camp.
The second XI had little joy at Long Eaton, having to made do with a losing draw.
Long Eaton posted an imposing 268-4 with openers Kieran Cooke (59) and Andy Edge (58) setting them an excellent platform with a 125-run first wicket stand before Charlie Walters bowled Cooke.
Further contributions came from Tim Taylor (40), ex-Kimberley man Brett Scothern (36*) and Alan Villiers (26*) as the home side racked up the runs at the death with Liam Webb (2-71) and Richard Adams (1-67) bearing the brunt of the assault.
In reply, Kimberley were reduced to 50-6 by a combination of Villiers (4-46) and Ryan Cuthbert (2-38) before a rearguard action between captain Steve Bennett (68) and Paul Blatherwick (31*) saved their bacon.
Whilst Bennett and Webb fell before the close Blatherwick and Adams were able to see out the remaining deliveries and secure the losing draw.
The third XI, and 15-year-old Alex Aldred in particular, were in stunning form to see off Gedling & Sherwood by 303 runs at Basil Russell.
After Gedling’s captain put Kimberley in to bat, there were probably a few occasions through the game when that decision would be reflected upon, not least as 169 was put on for the first wicket.
This was the 22nd over with Krutarth Dave (51) falling at this point after another enterprising knock.
But at the other end Aldred was on fire and had already spanked his maiden senior century and was well set on 102 not out.
Luke Tantum had barely batted all year and slipped into the thirds side very late on but wasted no time in joining Aldred to butcher the bowling.
The ball was flying to all parts of the ground, the adjacent skateboard area and the Watnall Road.
The innings ended in the 45th over at a remarkable 400-1, with Aldred 219 not out, including 20 fours and 14 sixes, and Aldred 103 not out with 14 fours and two sixes.
Their partnership was 231 in 23 overs and the overall total was a league record and a Kimberley record too.
Gedling and Sherwood were somewhat shell-shocked but eager to do their best with the bat.
At 0 for 2 in the fourth over this didn’t quite go to plan with tidy opening spells from Tom Boyden and, significantly, Sam Beale who returned 2 for 5.
The Gedling innings ended at 97 all out with the balance of the wickets shared between Sukhdeep Sidhu, Ben Millington, Joe Allport and Matt Ross, and aptly Aldred caught the last man over his head at gully.