Kimberley send Mansfield down

Sam Johnson bats for Kimberley at Mansfield on Saturday. Photo by Matthew Taylor.
Sam Johnson bats for Kimberley at Mansfield on Saturday. Photo by Matthew Taylor.

Kimberley Institute finished their season with a big winning draw away at Mansfield Hosiery Millsn Saturday; a result that sent the home side down.

Dominic Brown (84*) starred with the bat for Kimberley and Ben Savage returned a season’s best with the ball (14-3-55-5).

Mansfield won the toss though and opted to bowl first and had an early reward when Sam Ogrizovic could only divert Kyle Garside (1-28) to Manek at mid-wicket and it was 1-1 in the secnd over.

That then became 132-1 as Sam Johnson (72) and Tom Rowe (61) combined for their third century partnership of the season as they flourished after navigating the early stages of the innings.

Rowe looked fluent as 28 of his first 31 runs came in boundaries and Johnson soon began to notch up the runs including a huge six onto the roof of the nets.

Rowe struck a big one of his own over long-off and 300 seemed on the cards as the pair passed the hundred-mark together; Johnson bringing up his half-century shortly beforehand.

Rowe looked on course for one himself as he too reached fifty off his 62nd delivery, but the partnership was broken in the next over when Rob Townsend (1-24) trapped Johnson lbw.

Brown joined Rowe and they took the attack to spinners Matt New and Townsend as 35 runs came in the seven overs they batted together.

It was Kieron Garside (1-39) who had Rowe caught on the boundary as he got a little too much elevation going for another maximum and his innings ended with the score on 167-3.

That became 193-5 as Alex Aldred and George Bacon both departed cheaply with Matt Wright (3-78) claiming both but Brown really began to flourish in the final ten overs as he systematically took apart the Millers bowling with sixes and fours aplenty. With able assistance from Jon Terry (17) he took Kimberley to 259-6 before Terry was Wright’s third victim.

With a sweet drive from Alex King (5*) to round things off they finished on 273-6.

The Millers knew only a successful run chase would give them any chance of surviving and their chances became smaller still when Curtis edged Savage behind to Harry Ratcliffe without a run on the board.

This brought the New brothers to the crease and it was Tom (19) who began to attack before Brown took an excellent low catch to see him on his way and hand Bacon (3-54) his first wicket. Mark Smallwood’s 21 got the run-rate climbing before Savage took a catch off his own bowling with the score 61-3.

That became 99-8 as the Millers wilted in the face of their impending relegation. Chris Glover took a good catch to see off Jayasinghe and then Savage claimed two in an over as Matt New (16) and Townsend both fell to make it 74-6.

A fine catch by Rowe at point gave Bacon his third victim as Manek flashed at the ball and made it 80-7 and a brief lull followed as the Millers crawled to 99 only for Hadfield to edge behind and give Savage his five-for.

Johnson ran Wright out from the boundary as he lumbered back for a risky run in the 33rd over; 136-9.

All that was left now was for Glover to claim his all-important 35th wicket of the season but the Garside brothers added a frustrating 46 runs to see the Millers to the losing draw.

The 18 points gained see Kimberley finish in seventh place in the NPL, one place up from last season.