Kimberley Institute’s new captain Alex King began his tenure with a losing draw against Welbeck just as his predecessor did, as shorn of several bowling options Kimberley were left chasing a hefty 284 for victory and in the end just about hung on for the draw.
The toss was perhaps irrelevant as one side wanted to bat first and the other bowl and Welbeck’s decision to have first digs looked a good one as the runs flowed with ease inside the first ten overs.
Kimberley’s only source of joy came when Higgins offered a dolly to King at mid-wicket to give Tom Rowe (4-66) the first wicket of the day with the score on 39 in the seventh over.
Two wickets in Chris Glover’s first two overs really brought Kimberley back into the game as the well set Cross (43) drilled Glover’s first ball straight to Rowe at extra-cover and then a superb throw from the skipper ran Richard Stroh out to leave Welbeck 93-3 after 18 and wobbling, but a determined century from Andrew Parkin-Coates (112) made sure they didn’t falter any further.
He was given good support by Jevons (23) and Notts man Jacob Ball (36) in two half-century stands; the latter one being of 82 runs and coming in just eleven overs – a period which took the game away from Kimberley and suggested a score of 300-plus was on the cards.
A loss of wickets in the final six overs prevented that from happening with Rowe coming back to claim three more and Glover picking up another to finish with 3-68 from his 15 overs as the home side ended their innings at 283-9.
Sam Johnson had claimed the other wicket to fall when he beat Rob French all ends up and dismissed him lbw first ball.
Kimberley’s reply got off to the quick start it needed as Dominic Brown (50) and Jon Terry (14) set the tone before the latter fell to French with the score on 45.
Rowe departed four overs later after being adjudged stumped in Higgins’ (3-56) first over, but with Brown playing some destructive shots on his way to a run-a-ball half-century Kimberley were keeping up with the required rate until he fell lbw to Marchant (2-42) with the score on 87 in the 19th over.
Kimberley’s chase then got reined in by the spin of Higgins and Bentley (3-52) as Johnson (49) and Sam Ogrizovic (25) added 60 for the fourth wicket, but the boundaries dried up and the required rate climbed higher before Ogrizovic skied a sweep and was well caught by the retreating Cross in the 34th over.
Johnson followed three overs later – bowled by Bentley one short of his half-century – and with George Bacon top-edging his third ball to give Cross another catch and Higgins another wicket, Kimberley’s chances of winning had all but evaporated.
King (15) and Dominic Wheatley (40) pushed the score onto 196 with five overs to go and with 30 balls to get 29 runs full batting points seemed on the cards; that was until King holed out at deep mid-wicket via Bentley and James Taylor was trapped lbw two overs later to leave the score at 207-8 and Welbeck with 21 balls to try and get two wickets for an unlikely, and undeserved, outright victory.
Ben Savage stood firm with Wheatley as the last over dawned, but with Wheatley top-edging pull shot straight up in the air looking for the unlikely 12 runs for another point Glover was left with four balls to see out; he did with no alarm and even pinched a single off the last ball as Kimberley finished on 214-9.
The 2nd XI recorded their second win on the bounce with a thumping eight wicket win over visiting West Bridgfordians with Alex Aldred scoring exactly 100 not out to crown the run chase.
Batting first. the visitors found themselves at 96-7 and then 140-9 before some lower order resistance from Oliver Straw (34*) got them to a more respectable 171 before they were all out in the penultimate over.
Jack Blatherwick, Sukhdeep Sidhu and captain Steve Bennett all claimed three wickets each with Liam Webb claiming the other.
It was then Aldred’s turn to dominate the response as he cracked 14 fours and one six on his way to three figures. Vaughan Hamilton (14) helped him to add 32 for the first wicket and then James Griffiths (24) 61 for the second before Harry Ratcliffe (13*) joined him with the score on 93-2.
Aldred was on 40 at this point before he began to dominate proceedings and score 60 of the remaining 73 runs with the majority of those coming from a peppering of the leg-side boundary. With just nine needed and Aldred on 91 he struck two fours to take him to 99 and then a quick single off of his 141st delivery brought up both his century and the win for Kimberley in the 45th over.
Kimberley thirds beat Bottesford by 64 runs.
Batting first, Kimberley were soon in trouble at 17-3 in the sixth over with Krutarth Dave, Tim Wheatley and Sam Beale all falling.
Luke Tantum (68) and Ben Millington (32) added 85 in 19 overs before both fell in the space of an over, Kimberley eventually closing on 216-9.
Kimberley’s Max Sugarman delivered a fine spell to take 3-17 in Bottesford’s reply, and despite a late 52 from Mike Fowler, Bottesford were unable to get near their target.
The 4th XI slipped to a second defeat in a row as they lost by five wickets away at Breaston.
Batting first they posted 172-5 from their 45 overs with Luke Barlow’s 63 being the top score. Captain Rich Kelley also contributed 36*.
Whilst they lost five wickets in reply Breaston’s victory came with relative ease in the 38th over as Lee Sutton’s unbeaten 60 saw them home with Ian Colley also making a useful 41.