Defending champions Kimberley’s worrying winless run in the Notts Premier League stretched to five matches after a two-wicket defeat at the hands of Notts CCC Academy.
An early-morning deluge, which wiped out the games involving Kimberley’s other three sides, meant that, after a mopping-up operation by groundstaff and players, the contest could not get under way until just after 3 pm and was reduced to 35 overs per side.
But the hosts must have wished it hadn’t started at all as they collapsed from 71-1 to 123 all out in only 25.5 overs. And although their bowlers fought back valiantly, the Academy team’s successful reply reached 126-8 with six overs to spare, leaving the champs in third place, 13 points behind new leaders Cuckney.
Although Neil Edwards was dismissed for a duck, there were few signs of what was to follow as fellow opener Tom Collishaw blasted four sixes and five fours in a breezy 45 and put on 71 with Tom Rowe (24, four fours). But after both had fallen within an over of each other, Kimberley’s innings slid alarmingly.
Skipper Alex King (25) tried to stem the flow of wickets, but most of the honours went to the young Notts CCC bowlers, most notably Anis Raza (3-16 in 2.5 overs), Anuj Dal (3-17 in seven overs) and Ben Kitt (3-47 in seven overs).
Much like the home team, the Academy’s batsmen also played some needless shots as good bowling by new signing Tim Haines (3-20 in ten overs), Dominic Brown and Rowe reduced the visitors to 43-5. A stand between Tom Keast (26, five fours) and Reicko Parker-Cole (14) interrupted Kimberley’s charge, but when King struck with 3-16 from six overs, including the scalp of Keast, the champions looked sure to pull off victory with the Academy wobbling on 84-8.
However, their endemic failure this season to bowl sides out (only twice in 12 league games) handicapped them again as the ninth-wicket pairing of veteran ex-county pro Chris Tolley (24no) and Connor Marshall (18no) saw the Academy home with an unbroken partnership of 42.