Sam Johnson’s second century of the season – a run-a-ball 124 - helped Kimberley to a winning draw against Caythorpe on Saturday.
A late batting collapse nearly undid all his good work as Caythorpe came back into the game, but before that his scintillating hundred had set Kimberley on course for a score of 300 plus as he put the visiting attack to the sword.
The attack in question consisted of several youngsters and the more seasoned Matt Dowman (1-32) and it was he who claimed the wicket of Sam Ogrizovic (13) in the sixth over with the score on 28 after a bright start.
Johnson though dominated a stand of exactly 100 with Tom Rowe (27) and scored freely on both sides of the wicket with his half-century coming up with another boundary off his 55th ball.
Rowe was driving nicely but was stumped after a rash foray down the wicket to McCaffrey (1-36) in the 22nd over. With Rowe’s fall Dominic Brown (32) joined Johnson and added 85 for the third wicket as Kimberley cemented their position.
Johnson brought up his century with another boundary off just his 99th ball and a real daddy hundred seemed on the cards whilst Brown seemed set for a half-century also.
As the final stretch approached disaster struck as both were out within an over of each other; Johnson caught in the deep via James Hawley (5-34) and Brown lbw to James Hindson (3-70) to leave the score 215-4.
George Bacon (11) and Alex Aldred (25) put Kimberley back on course for a big total with a stand of 31 before Bacon’s fall heralded a rather spectacular collapse as Kimberley went from 246-4 to 261 all out in the final six overs as Hawley and Hindson brought Caythorpe right back into the game.
Kimberley struck early on in Caythorpe’s reply as Hawley skied Ben Savage (1-29) straight up in the air with Rowe waiting underneath to take the catch and leave the score at 9-1.
It could have been 30-2 in the seventh over, but Savage couldn’t hold on to Dobson’s (48) loose drive at third man when he was on 17 with Bacon the unfortunate bowler.
Taking advantage of his reprieve Dobson added 72 with Steve Allcoat (30) to take the visitors to 81 in the 18th over, but then Chris Glover (2-28) came to fore as he did for Allcoat whose booming drive connected with thin air and the ball with the stumps. Glover thought he had danger man Dowman (95) lbw soon after only for the umpire to shake his head at a very close call.
Instead 47 more runs came as Dobson and Dowman looked to lead the charge, but Bacon (4-71) saw the end of Dobson as Aldred took a sharp catch in the covers.
Dowman now looked to take command as James Oldham (16) helped him to add 61 runs for the fourth wicket until Oldham tried to launch Glover over Noel Street and only found the safe hands of Bacon at long-off.
Ben Powell became Bacon’s second victim when Aldred again took an excellent catch coming in off the boundary.
With 50 needed off five overs the game was evenly balanced, but Dominic Wheatley (1-23) produced a brilliant yorker that castled Dowman and with that wicket it seemed Kimberley would be gaining the lion’s share of the points.
Two more wickets for Bacon ensured they did as Caythorpe closed out for the draw some 27 runs adrift. The 17 points gained see Kimberley move back into eighth place.
The 2nd XI also recorded a winning draw away at West Bridgfordians in another close game.
After opting to bat first they weren’t in a great position until the lower order dug them out of trouble with skipper Steve Bennett (47) top scoring to help Kimberley to post 218-8.
Bennett was also on hand to claim two wickets with Ben Crouch also gaining two and Sukhdeep Sidhu three as Kimberley checked the home side’s victory push. An unbeaten 72 from Henry Straw got them close, but in the end they settled for the draw some 21 runs short.
The third XI suffered a hiccup in their promotion push as they lost by just ten runs at home to Bingham.
Daniel Cosgrave’s 62 helped the visitors to post 203-8 with Connor Richardson (3-30) the pick of the bowlers.
In reply, Kimberley’s batting failed them as they fell to 158-9 before a heroic 57 from Sam Beale got them agonisingly close only for him to fall in the 41st over.
The 4th XI’s promotion bid remains on track after they won by six runs against Lowdham.
Batting first they were all out for 156 with Alex Terry (55) top scoring and then bowled their hosts out for 153 with Paul Blatherwick (4-48) and skipper Rich Kelley (3-39) taking seven of them.
Sunday saw the 2nd XI advance into the final of the Popkess Cup after they beat Hucknall.
Chasing 216, Kimberley seemed out of it at 136-6 but an unbeaten 80-run stand between Steve Bennett (51*) and Joe Allport (44*) powered them to an amazing win and they will now play Hoveringham in the final on home turf on September 7.