Champions Cuckney are no match for Kimberley

Inspired by their captain Alex King’s six wickets, Kimberley Institute chalked up their fifth win in the NPL this season with a crushing seven wicket win at Cuckney on Saturday.

The torrential rain of the previous night had left the wicket wet in places and play had to be put back half an hour and the game reduced to 46 overs apiece. It also meant it was a very good toss for King to win and he had no hesitation in asking the home side to bat first.

Whilst Ben Savage and Dominic Brown endeavoured to get the early breakthrough with the ball beating the bat, popping and falling agonisingly short of fielders, openers Adam Burgess (32) and Luke Thomas (16) would have been reasonably happy to have survived the first hour unscathed.

With Kimberley needing a breakthrough, the talismanic Tom Rowe (1-18) provided it as he induced Thomas into an airy drive with Sam Johnson taking the catch on the cover boundary with the score on 47.

James Hawley became King’s first victim thanks to a bit of magic in the covers from Johnson with a brilliant, one handed diving effort to make it 52-2.

King trapped Burgess lbw to make it 66-3 and then Chris Glover got his first (3-26) thanks to an athletic catch off his own bowling to remove skipper Will Butler and make it 68-4 in the 29th over.

The scoreboard ticked over very slowly and then three more wickets came in three overs. King’s third was another lbw as former Kimberleyite Nick Langford swept injudiciously, Brown took a regulation catch on the mid-wicket boundary to give Glover his second and see off Lewis Bramley and with Suresh edging King behind to Harry Ratcliffe it was 83-7 after 36 overs.

Ian Parkin was next to fall three overs later as King made it five thanks to a Dom Wheatley catch at mid-wicket and his sixth via another good catch from Brown to remove Richard Bostock gave him his best ever figures for Kimberley as he finished with 13-2-30-6.

David France (13*) and last man Harry Bircumshaw (4) added 13 runs for the final wicket, before Bircumshaw was lured out of his ground by Glover and Ratcliffe stumped him to leave the home side all out for just 108 in the 45th over; Glover finishing with figures of 11-3-26-3.

Kimberley’s response got off to a flying start as Shaun Levy (52*) was joined by pinch-hitter Jon Terry (9) and they added 29 inside five overs as Levy pulled Bramley (1-25) through the hedge and Terry drove two boundaries before being bowled by Bramley.

Terry’s loss sparked a mini-collapse as Parkin (2-23) got two in an over as Rowe skied a drive to Butler and the bowler took an excellent low return catch to dismiss Brown.

Johnson (40*) then spurred a counter-attack as Kimberley went from 39-3 in the tenth over to 67-3 in the 13th.

Hawley’s day was made worse as he was taken for 18 off the two overs he bowled.

France was introduced into the attack and hit over the Pavilion by Johnson and when Bostock was cut away in the next over just nine were needed.

Levy picked up seven of them to move to a much deserved half-century and with a single to put Johnson back on strike his work was done and the game was won next ball as Johnson dispatched it back past the bowler for four.

The 2nd XI also recorded a seven wicket win at home against Wollaton.

Kimberley asked the visitors to bat first and reduced them to 39-4 with Ben Crouch taking 3-16.

Will Selwood (20) and then Javed (28) offered some resistance before the tail was blown away following Javed’s fall – Wollaton all out for 95 after being 93-6.

Kimberley’s reply had a shaky start as Bobby Chaundry and Andy Layton – in a rare blip – were out for ducks, but from 13-2 Williams (12) and Aldred (57*) quickly moved them to 42 before Williams was bowled.

Blatherwick (14*) helped Aldred to seal the win in the 18th over with the latter having hit nine fours and a six in a welcome half-century off just 51 balls.

The thirds fell to a four wicket lost at East Leake, Tim Wheatley top scoring with 40 in reply to 151-9 but the hosts running out winners.

The fourth XI were blown away by nine wickets against Madni, skipper Rich Kelley top scoring with 25.