Rowe’s in the know as Kimberley reach finals day

Tom Rowe was in fine form for Kimberley as they reached T20 finals day.
Tom Rowe was in fine form for Kimberley as they reached T20 finals day.

With Saturday being a complete washout, attention turned to Sunday as Kimberley travelled to Caythorpe in the NPL T20 competition.

This time the match largely avoided weather disruption as Kimberley booked a place at finals day with a dramatic one run win over Radcliffe-on-Trent.

Before that, they had to beat Ordsall Bridon, a feat they achieved in style by 115 runs with Tom Rowe (126*) smashing the ball to all parts and George Bacon (6-6) tearing through the demoralised batsmen.

Captain Alex King had no hesitation in opting to bat first, although when the only rain interruption of the match halted proceedings after three overs Kimberley’s total of 11 did not have pulses racing.

Indeed after seven overs they were still only going at six-an-over with the total on 42 before Rowe began to hit his stride.

The loss of Shaun Levy with the score on 65, lbw to Martyn Long, didn’t upset his rhythm as he brought up his half-century two overs later and with Dominic Brown (25*) getting Rowe back on strike at every opportunity.

Striking was what Rowe did with aplomb as the ball travelled in all directions and one magnificent six even had the crowd running for cover as it homed in on the pavilion roof. The trees at the scorebox end of the ground even took a peppering as the ball went straight into, and over, them on several occasions with Brown even joining the fun with a monstrous straight hit.

Rowe brought up his hundred with a single off just his 66th delivery and then hit 26 more in the final two overs as Kimberley went past 200 and closed on a daunting 204-1 . Rowe hit eleven fours and seven sixes in a phenomenal innings.

Set such a massive target Bridon tried to go for it from the off but when Sufian Munir he hit King (2-16) straight down Sam Johnson’s throat it was the beginning of the end.

King claimed another and Ben Savage (1-19) got in on the act before Bacon entered the attack and produced a double-wicket maiden as Dominic Wheatley caught Martyn Long (22) and Josh Marsh was clean bowled and the same happened to James Brice in his next over and it was 42-6.

Wheatley got one of his own and it was 57-7. Ashley Corrie (27) showed some fight to top score, but when Bacon returned he was trapped lbw and then the tail was cleaned up in the 17th over as Bridon were all out for 89.

The second game of the day against Radcliffe – who had beaten Caythorpe earlier – proved to be a much closer affair.

With the decision taken to reduce the game to 15 overs each as the light faded, Kimberley opted to bat first and Rowe (28) continued where he left off and Johnson (22) batted in a similar vein as they raced to 53 after four overs, Johnson taking James Marshall for 20 in one over.

The game changed with the introduction of Jordan Harbottle (2-14) as he had Rowe caught off a top edge by Jake Fish and then Johnson was out lbw next ball; 53-2 and the brakes had been applied to Kimberley’s innings.

Brown (19) and Bacon (9) added 29 over the next six overs but Jacob Deavin-Baker (3-6) removed both batsmen in the same over as some sloppy shots gave Radcliffe the upper hand once more.

King (12*) and Terry (7*) just about got the score to par as the innings closed on 112-5.

Radcliffe’s reply got off to a flyer as Brown’s first over went for 16 in all and they went at 11-an-over in the first four as Ross Carnelley (33) and Joe Wilcox (12) took advantage of some helpful bowling.

King made a much needed breakthrough when he trapped Wilcox lbw, but the arrival of Fish (19) didn’t stop the runs as Radcliffe moved to 68-1 after seven overs.

Enter the golden-armed Rowe (3-12) to transform the game with the ball this time as Kimberley clawed their way back into contention.

His first wicket was thanks to a brilliant catch from Josh Bembridge who ran back to take a skied chance from Fish over his shoulder to make it 71-2. Rob Sutton was next to go as he edged Rowe behind to Levy to make it 78-3 in the tenth.

Wheatley’s neat footwork ran out Carnelley in the 11th over as he flicked a straight drive in his follow-through onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end with the batsman out of his ground; 83-4 and the game was shifting back towards Kimberley.

Despite needing simply a run-a-ball to win they tried to play big shots and that only brought the downfall of James Marshall as he edged Rowe behind to Levy and then Peter Vickers as he hit King straight to Johnson at deep-midwicket to make it 92-6 in the 13th.

Two boundaries meant 11 were required off the last two overs and Bacon bowled the first of them; his first ball a superb yorker homed in Deavin-Baker’s pads and it was 102-7. Four runs came though and left Radcliffe needing seven to win as a tie would work in Kimberley’s favour having lost fewer wickets.

With four needed off four, Ed Hodgson swung through with an extra-cover drive and he must have thought he’d done it only for Jon Terry to leap up and take the catch that made it 109-8.

A dot and a single followed that meaning three were needed off the last ball, but Harbottle could only find Rowe on the cover-point boundary and was run-out coming back for the second to set off the celebrations for Kimberley.

Kimberley’s focus now shifts to their National Cup Group final against Caythorpe at Newdigate Street on Sunday after a home league clash with Clifton on Saturday.