Tense start to the Notts Premier League 2015 season

Kimberley Institute v Cuckney
Kimberley Institute v Cuckney

The opening day of the 2015 NCB Premier League fixture list threw up some close finishes, some fine individual performances, some surprises and a smattering of rain showers.

Welbeck claimed the first top spot of the season with a rapid six wicket win over last season’s Bassetlaw league champions, Farnsfield.

On losing the toss, the visitors were asked to bat by the home skipper, and found Tom Lungley in inspired form.

Only four Farnsfield batters made double figures as they folded to 83 all out in the 33rd over.

Lungley claiming 5-37.

Jamie Wagstaff claimed a couple of early victims but Welbeck raced to the target inside 16 overs for a comfortable Radcliffe-on-Trent provided perhaps the biggest surprise result of the day as they took the scalp of the West Indian Cavaliers.

After losing the toss, Cavs were given the opportunity to bat first.

Recovering from 32-2 to reach 226-6 from 47 overs, thanks to a trio of 50-plus run partnerships.

Paldip Sidhu, top scoring with 56, added 67 for the third wicket with Aqib Afzaal, Usman Afzaal (31) added 63 with Bilal Shafayat who then went on to add an unbeaten 61 with Aaron Thomas, Shafayat finishing on 49 not out and Thomas 42 not out.

Radcliffe’s reply got off to a solid start as Ben Carr (35) and Joe Wilcox (44) put on 86.

When both fell quickly, Ross Carnelley made 42 and joined with Rob Sutton (75*) to add 120 run and break the back of the target.

The seven wicket win being clinched in the 44th over.

Champions, Cuckney, opened up on the road at Kimberley, Will Butler asking his hosts to make first use of the 2bm Ground pitch.

Shaun Levy led the way with 40 at the top of the order, but wickets would fall all too regularly as Luke Thomas (3-29) and Lewis Bramley (3-62) held the home batting in check.

Cuckney found themselves in difficulty at 39-4, until Daniel Wood (53) and Richard Bostock (53*) put on 111 for the fifth wicket.

The 161 run target being reached in the 38th over.

Caythorpe got the better of a rain interrupted draw at Plumtree in a game dominated by the name Mierkalns.

Plumtree won the toss and elected to bowl first. A decision that looked vindicated as Steve Allcoat’s 31 provided the only fireworks as the visitors struggled to 76-5.

Caleb Mierkalns joining brother Josh at the crease was to provide the catalyst to the innings.

While Josh compiled a fairly subdued 64, Caleb provided the bulk of their 132-run partnership.

When yet another shower descended, meaning the match would become a timed game, it looked like he would be denied his hundred, but, after taking tea, the final three balls of the innings were bowled,

Caleb getting the nine runs needed for a maiden PL century, as he finished not out on 103.

Glen Read’s 3-52 did much of the early damage.

Plumtree’s reply owed much to a 71-run partnership between Saad Ashraf (47) and Ben Storey (31) and with Caythorpe hurrying through the overs to get as many in as possible, all results were possible.

As the gloom gathered and the last hour ticked by, it became a question of whether or not 50 overs could be bowled.

A minimum of 16 must be bowled in the last hour, Caythorpe got through 20 to secure a winning draw rather than an abandonment.

That man Caleb Mierkalns taking 3-19, effecting a run out and taking a catch in the field for good measure.

Nottinghamshire Academy’s match at Ordsall Bridon had an equally tense if perhaps less satisfying conclusion.

After winning the toss and asking their hosts to bat, Adam Tillcock with 3-19 and Elliott Bowles (3-36) led the attack as they held Bridon to 209-9. Henry Appleyard top scored with 36 and Sufian Munir added 32.

Adam Tillcock completed a fine all round day making 97 at better than a run a ball, and having teamed with Joe New (49) to add 94 for the third wicket looked to have set them on their way to a win.

Aqab Ahmed had other ideas, and in completing a five wicket haul held the Academy to 208-7 when time was called.

At Attenborough, the South Notts champions won the toss and put their visitors in to bat.

Clifton Village found themselves 29-3 and in a spot of bother.

New skipper Martin Weightman joined Richard Harris in the middle and the pair rebuilt the innings, adding 162 before Harris fell for 72.

Weightman followed soon after for 89 and the innings fell away to close on 236-8.

Dominic Harvey’s four for 47 led the bowling alongside Andrew Simkiss who claimed three for 51.

Attenborough’s reply was going along nicely until the weather intervened. The opening pair of Alec McKinley and Gurpej Landa added 114, McKinley top scoring with 61, and Landa making 46.

When time was called with the home side 192-2, Matt Cross was unbeaten on 57.

An encouraging start for the new boys who looked in good shape but for the rain.