Kimberley Institute took another step towards NPL safety as they gained the lion’s share of the points in their home clash with Welbeck Colliery.
Batting first they posted a massive 305-6 with Paldip Sidhu (114) and captain Sam Ogrizovic (86) adding 186 of those for the third wicket.
But Kimberley had to haul themselves back into the game after a bad start as Jake Ball (1-11) removed Jon Terry for a duck.
Sidhu and Bharat Popli (17) repaired the early damage before a mix-up in the middle left Popli run-out at the non-strikers end in Jake Ball’s fifth and final over.
Welbeck were completely out of it for the next 40 overs though as Kimberley produced a batting display of the highest quality.
Sidhu played fluently as he accumulated his runs with many fine drives and dismissive pull shots and Ogrizovic carried on his recent good form with another important innings.
Welbeck’s bowlers began to look impotent and the fielding lacklustre and they were no doubt relieved when rain stopped play in the 27th over with Kimberley on 117-2.
Play resumed 25 minutes later and the visitors seemed rejuvenated, captain Martin Dobson with some athletic fielding off of his own bowling .
His efforts were in vain though as both batsmen brought up their half-centuries and then Sidhu went to town as he smashed Dobson and Ball out of the attack with 14 in one over and then 15 in the next as the 150 partnership came up at the end of the 38th over.
Welbeck thought they had Ogrizovic in the next when he offered a catch to mid-wicket via Olly Pringle (2-85), but Dobson spilled the ball as he landed and the Kimberley captain looked to be capitalising on the missed chance when he nonchalantly dispatched Ashley Willis for 20 in one over with an effortless flick for six over backward-square the pick of the shots.
His innings was ended in Pringle’s next over as Adam Burgess held on at mid-off with the score on 216 and Kimberley’s highest stand of the season came to a close.
Sam Johnson was gone lbw to Rob French (2-63) for just two, but with Sidhu bringing up his second NPL century of the season in the next over Kimberley still seemed well set for a very big total.
Dominic Wheatley (5) and Sidhu then fell within ten runs of each other; Wheateley being caught off Pringle and Sidhu miscuing a French full-toss to Jake Ball to end his innings on a rather anti-climactic note.
Dominic Brown’s 22 ball blitz brought him 48 runs and with a helping hand from Alex King (10*) 60 runs had come from the last four as Kimberley’s innings came to a close.
The late carnage had left Welbeck completely demoralised and Atif Sheikh (1-34) trapped Billy Godleman lbw in the third over.
Dobson (52) and Matt Higgins (13) ground out 56 runs over 19 overs before King (3-48) got the better of Higgins, and with spin-twin Chris Glover (3-38) trapping Burgess lbw to make it 74-3, the middle-order was now open to attack.
Attack is what Jonny Loates (33) did as he rode his luck and hit several boundaries to add 49 with his captain before the latter fell lbw to Glover with the score on 123 in the 39th.
Loates was out immediately after as King bowled him and Kimberley picked up three more wickets as the lower-order succumbed to the spin with Glover bowling Jonathan Ball and King bamboozling Pringle as he edged to Popli at slip.
Johnson (1-4) and Terry stepped up to the plate in search of the final wickets in the fading light; Johnson got one as he trapped French lbw and Terry went close with an acrobatic attempt at a caught and bowled, but Jake Ball and keeper David French saw the game out with Welbeck finishing on 160-8.
The 2nd XI couldn’t quite capture all seven points they needed to secure their Division B status, but the six they gained away at West Bridgfordians see them needing one point at home at home to Gotham next week.
The home side were asked to bat first and Ben Crouch (1-38) had an early reward when he picked up the first wicket with just five on the board.
Kimberley had to wait until the scoreboard read 111 before the next wicket fell as Henry Straw (83) and Andrew Sharpe (53) put on 106 for the second wicket as Sukhdeep Sidhu (2-39) struck.
Steve Bennett (2-24) picked up a couple himself as West Bridgfordians lost several more batsmen but still posted a more than useful 211-5.
Kimberley’s reply suffered the worst possible start as Alex Aldred was out for a duck with just one on the board, but a stand of 37 between Tim Wheatley (18) and Jack Blatherwick (19) steading things before they fell within seven runs of each other to leave the score on 45-3.
Ben Savage (51) picked up his fourth half-century of the season to steady the nerves as Kimberley slipped to an eventual total of 130-8 to earn a losing draw.
The third XI beat Flintham by five wickets.
Flintham were bowled out for just 100, three wickets each for Danny Williams and Matt Ross.
The target was passed with five Kimberley wickets down, Joe Allport with 40 and John Aldred’s 33 proving crucial as Kimberley took the crucial points in this second versus fourth clash.
The fourth XI were awarded their match against Eastwood with the visitors unable to raise a team.