Champions Cuckney frustrated by first XI

Kimberley 2nd XI bowler Steve Bennett sends down a delivery against Eastwood Town on Saturday.
Kimberley 2nd XI bowler Steve Bennett sends down a delivery against Eastwood Town on Saturday.

Cuckney CC 1st XI 306-5 drew with KICC 1st XI 175-7

Kimberley held firm to earn a share of the points after champions Cuckney had posted a mammoth score.

Opener Richard Stroh’s unbeaten 148 helped the hosts post 306-5 and Kimberley had to battle their way to 175-7 in reply to secure a losing draw.

Kimberley skipper Sam Ogrizovic won the toss and asked Cuckney to bat first and Atif Sheikh (2-65) quickly struck as Will Root edged a low catch to Bharat Popli in the gully.

Bears captain Will Butler came to the crease and made a brisk 46, adding 74 with Stroh inside 16 overs; the run rate held back eventually by an economical spell of bowling from Dominic Wheatley (1-36).

It was Alex King (2-82) though who made the breakthrough in the 17th over when Butler’s mistimed drive was well caught by a backtracking Dominic Brown at mid-on.

It was 92-3 five overs later when Wheatley got some deserved reward to end Elliot Hind’s frantic innings by knocking his off-stump back.

But Stroh and ex-Kimberley man Nick Langford (64) added 165 runs for the fourth wicket, Stroh bringing up his hundred with a boundary in the 46th over.

Langford fell in the 47th to King with Popli taking another catch in the deep and with Sheikh having Tom Ullyott well caught by Chris Glover next over with the score at 268-5 it seemed Kimberley might be able to limit the home side to around 280.

They, and most certainly King, hadn’t bargained on an astounding 30 runs coming from the last over though as Stroh struck three fours and two sixes to push the home side past 300.

Kimberley’s reply got off to the worst possible start when Paldip Sidhu edged Stroh (2-24) to Langford in the slips first ball and from then on in it was a case of backs to the wall in a rear-guard action.

Popli (28) tried a different method and took on the Cuckney bowling and stroked several effortless drives to the boundary; unfortunately trying one shot too many and nicking Stroh to Langford who caught him at the second attempt.

Harry Ratcliffe (9), batted diligently for 18 overs before being bowled by Lewis Bramley (2-25), after adding 21 with his captain, and the scoreboard read 54-3 in the 18th.

Brown was then run-out by Orson Nurse at short-midwicket when a he toppled forward playing a defensive stroke.

James Mann (49) and Ogrizovic (34) saw out 22 overs relatively untroubled, adding 78 runs in the process.

Root (2-7) was handed the ball by his captain and induced rash shots from both batsmen who ended up back in the pavilion, the scoreboard reading 133-5.

But a solid Wheatley (12*) and a breezy King (21) added 28 to see Kimberley to a batting point before Ben Savage (4*) and two from Wheatley in the last over got the score to 175 and another bonus point.

The 2nd XI got their season underway at the 2bm Ground against Eastwood, but they too had to settle for a losing draw after the visitors’ 258-8 proved too big a target.

Captain Steve Bennett won the toss and opted to bowl first, but having reduced Eastwood to 31-2, Jason Wooliscroft (69), Richard Marsh (82) and Gordon Pearson produced fine innings to eventually help the visitors to the aforementioned competitive target.

Richard Adams took 3-62, Bennett 2-48 and there were wickets each for Liam Webb and Charlie Walters.

Kimberley just about held firm in reply, just one wicket remaining at the end of the innings with the score on 158 - Ryan Elliott having taken 3-41, Dwayne Buckley 3-26, James Longden 2-28 and Wooliscroft 1-21.

The third XI overcame Bramcote by five wickets at the Basil Russell Playing Fields.

Bramcote batted first and were all out for 175, Tom Chamberlain top scoring with 54 and four wickets each for Ben Millington and Daniel Saxton.

Kimberley passed their target with just five wickets down, Alex Aldred hitting 60 in the process.

The 4th XI’s season got off to a four-wicket defeat away at Wymswold.

Despite an unbeaten 92 from Matt Ross and 47 from Josh Fraser, Kimberley’s 191-4 from their 40 overs was not quite enough as 90 from Nick Shaw helped the home side to victory with seven balls to spare.

Captain Chris Mozley was the pick of the bowling with 3-55.