A century from Sam Johnson helped Kimberley Institute get the better of a draw at home against relegation-threatened Ordsall Bridon.
Kimberley opted to bat first upon winning the toss and the new opening pairing of Sam Ogrizovic (28) and Johnson faced three balls before a heavy shower brought an abrupt halt to proceedings and took the players off for ten minutes.
They were nearly separated straight after the resumption, but a shy at the stumps instead went for four and Johnson’s innings was underway and the pair set about building a stand of 94; the highest of the season so far for Kimberley’s 1st wicket.
Not that it was a chanceless partnership though as Bridon’s fielders shelled several catches in what was generally a poor overall fielding display and the two openers were alive to picking up quick singles and gaining extra runs they shouldn’t have been allowed.
The 50 stand arrived in the 14th over with Ogrizovic content to grind down the bowlers whilst Johnson was the dominant partner as he scored on both sides of the wicket and his own fifty arrived in the 23rd over with the eighth boundary of his innings, but the partnership was over shortly after as Jamie Brice (1-26) stopped the pair getting to three figures when he bowled Ogrizovic just before another rain break came and took the players off for nearly an hour.
Johnson looked to continue where he left off after the resumption and added 47 with Tom Rowe (13) inside eight overs as Kimberley looked to up the tempo; the introduction of spin at both ends put the brakes on proceedings though as the middle order all perished to Martyn Long (2-29) and Gary Andrews (3-43) and Kimberley slipped to 185-5 in the 42nd over.
One of the batsmen to fall had been Johnson, adjudged lbw to Long, just after he’d passed three figures; it had been and industrious innings complemented by some classy stroke-play and the odd cheeky moment as he played a scoop shot over the keeper to bring up his ton.
Whilst his fall did check Kimberley’s momentum somewhat, he had laid platform for the lower order to launch an assault from and that’s just what George Bacon (37) and Alex King (23) did in a sixth wicket stand of 46 which helped Kimberley to close on 241-7; perhaps a little short of par, but more than competitive.
Indeed it proved too many for Bridon as Bacon (2-49) and Ben Savage (2-23) reduced them to 38-4 after just 13 overs. Savage was grateful to catches from Chris Glover and Ogrizovic behind the stumps for his two wickets with Bacon claiming one bowled and another caught behind.
Munir’s shot-a-ball 41 helped Bridon to score quickly, but his adventurous style was also his downfall as Glover (3-46) trapped him lbw when sweeping.
Glover claimed another victim after drinks when Tim Miles (20) hit the ball straight down Savage’s throat at long-on and at 87-6 after 26 it seemed like Kimberley would be going on to record a welcome victory.
Bridon’s lower order showed some much needed discipline though as their batsmen stopped living dangerously and instead knuckled down to bat out for the draw; not all the time though as Glover did prize Ahmed (22) out after he went for a big hit only to be well caught by Bacon at long-off.
With just three wickets needed and 14 overs to get them Kimberley could scent victory, but it was not to be as Brice (25) and Alderson (18*) batted out nine of them adding 47 in the process before Brice, having been dropped the ball before, was cleaned up by Dominic Brown (1-17).
There was perhaps still an outside chance with five overs to go, but Bridon held on and finished on 175-8.
The 2nd XI fell to a six wicket defeat at Collingham after they could only post 132 from their rain-interrupted innings.
Andy Layton (32) top scored with contributions coming from Steve Bennett (27) and Jon Terry (21) as the innings was ended in the 42nd over.
Alistair Haynes (63) led the run chase from the start and whilst Sukhdeep Sidhu and Terry claimed a wicket each and James Griffiths two, the home side reached their target in the 33rd over.
Elsewhere, the 3rd XI recorded a ten wicket win in a reduced overs game at home against Newark R & M; leg-spin duo Ross and Ramzan claimed two wickets each as Newark could only manage 82-7 from their 34 overs and Mick Blatherwick (54*) and Bobby Chaudry (25*) knocked off the runs in just the 11th over.
The 4th XI travelled to Thurgaton and came back with a win.
With the game reduced to 32 overs the home side set Kimberley 126 and they reached it with three wickets to spare after contributions from young Archie Moore (37) and John Aldred (27)
Sunday saw the 2nd XI progress into the semi-final of the Popkess Cup after a comfortable 68 run win over West Indian Cavaliers 2nd XI.
Andy Layton’s unbeaten century and 70 from James Taylor set the Cavs a mammoth 276 to win and they fell well short in reply. Kimberley now face Hucknall CC at home on August 17.