Kimberley Institute rounded off the home part of their 2017 Nottinghamshire Premier League season with a comfortable seven wicket win over Caythorpe.
The visitors arrived assured of their Premier League status for another year and had a fairly solid start after opting to bat first.
Openers Hisham Khan (13) and Tom Hart (84) added 39 for the first wicket before Alex King (2-31) broke the pair up in the 10th over by trapping Khan lbw.
Another 25 runs came before Kimberley had their second wicket with George Bacon (1-20) hurrying Dan Mierkalns (11) into a top-edged pull which Sam Johnson caught after a brief juggle on the hill to leave the score at 64-2 after 17.
Caythorpe fought back though with fine stand of 91 between Hart and James Oldham (42) which took them to 155 in the 34th over and it seemed like a score north of 250 was in the offing; King though had other ideas when he bowled Hart to break the partnership.
Oldham followed three overs later when Jon Terry (1-39) beat the batsman’s defences and bowled him to leave the score at 165-4.
Ex-Kimberley man Cav King (20) and Caythorpe’s skipper Andy Staszkiewicz (16) consolidated with a stand of 31 which took the visitors to 196-4, but that quickly became 197-7 as they lost their way in the 42nd and 43rd overs.
Dominic Brown (4-49) took two of the wickets as he cleaned up Staszkiewicz and then had Freddie King caught by his namesake three balls later, and with Martin Weightman (2-42) trapping Cav King lbw with the first ball of the 43rd Caythorpe’s hopes of a score around the 250 mark were fading away rapidly.
Ed Clarke (16) and Jim Hindson (12) did get them to full batting points before they lost their last three wickets for no runs.
Brown got two in two as he had Clarke caught by Johnson who, in an unorthodox manner, chested the ball into his hands and then Hindson was brilliantly caught by a diving Somair Chaudry behind the stumps after the batsman had crossed for Clarke’s dismissal.
Brown was denied a shot at a hat-trick when Weightman cleaned up Max Shenton three balls later to leave the visitors 225 all out in the 49th over.
Tom Rowe (27) should have been caught at point first ball off Shenton, but instead the chance went begging and he, with a few extras thrown in, drove Kimberley to 41 in the fifth over before he unluckily hit the ball into his ankle and it looped up to Shenton for a modicum of revenge.
His opening partner Bacon (57) had just five when he departed and Brown (43) carried on where Rowe left off as 66 more runs came in just 10 overs.
And Kimberley were almost halfway to their target when Brown fell lbw to Hindson (2-46) seven short of a deserved half-century with the scoreboard reading 107-2 after 15 overs.
On 25 at this point it was Bacon’s time to shine as he started to up his strike rate and a single to take him to 42 was given an ovation as he reached 1,000 league runs for the season.
In doing so he becomes only the second Kimberley player to have reached the milestone in the NPL and only the second amateur of the small group of ten players who have achieved the feat.
Bacon brought up his half-century shortly after off his 65th delivery, but he was sadly out on his 75th when Cav King held on to a diving effort on the deep-square boundary; 148-3 after 23 overs.
In what had been a theme across the three partnerships Johnson (55*) had just nine to his name after adding 41 with Bacon, but he had the lion’s share of the unbeaten 78 run stand for the fourth wicket with Weightman (24*) that took Kimberley to victory; Johnson showing off all his strokes on the way to his half-century which came up via a single from his 49th delivery in the 33rd over.
A boundary that took him to 55 levelled the scores in the next and a wide at the start of the 35th over sealed the win and all 20pts which keep Kimberley in 3rd place going into the last game; 6pts in their game away at Attenborough next week will ensure they finish there.