KIMBERLEY had their middle order batsmen to thank as they overcame Mansfield Hosiery Mills in another close encounter last weekend.
Andy Platts in particular earned many plaudits, as he made a superb, match-winning 76 to help his side on their way.
Winning the toss Kimberley skipper Sam Ogrizovic asked the hosts to bat first and then had to watch on as the opening pair of Gareth Curtis (86) and Paul Burdett (72) added 144 for the first wicket.
Chris Glover, who opened the bowling with his slow left armers, was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket as he toiled away admirably for 15 overs and conceded just 44 runs.
The breakthrough did eventually come in the 32nd over when Paul Riley (3-54) took a good return catch from Curtis to send him on his way.
Riley then picked up the next two as he trapped Burdett lbw and bowled Sudesh Fernando (13) to leave Hosiery Mills on 176-3 in the 38th.
Fernando’s departure brought Mansfield captain Jayasinghe (28) to the crease to join Matt Smallwood (42) and together they compiled a 52-run stand for the fourth wicket before Matt Wright (2-67), in his final spell, bowled Jayasinghe.
James Fraser (22*) helped Smallwood take the score to 256 when Wright accounted for the latter, again bowled in the 49th.
A further 15 runs were added in the remaining deliveries, which also included the run-out of Richard Crabtree by Glover, to take Mansfield up to a healthy 271-6.
Kimberley were off the mark before a ball was bowled as they had been awarded five penalty runs for the Hosiery Mills’ batsmen running on the wicket, but it did them little good as they soon found themselves at 12-2 in the second over with openers Jon Terry and Akhil Patel back in the pavilion.
Terry cut Jayasinghe (2-87) straight to the gully fielder and Patel was adjudged lbw to Lewis Saxby (1-54).
Kimberley didn’t panic as Ogrizovic (25) and Nick Langford (52) set about rebuilding the innings.
With Ogrizovic weighing anchor Langford batted around him compiling a fluid, run-a-ball half-century.
Having added 87 disaster struck as both fell within three runs of each other to the spin of Fernando (2-55).
Langford, looking well set for big score, was ajudged lbw and Ogrizovic clean bowled when attempting to sweep; Kimberley 102-4 in the 23rd and the run chase looking in peril.
The situation called for a cool head and that’s just what Platts displayed in a chanceless and critical innings that all but saw Kimberley home.
Excellent support came from Carl Blake (34) and Riley (47*) in two superb partnerships.
With Blake he added 62 for the fifth wicket as the pair ran intelligently and found the boundary ropes several times to keep the scoreboard ticking over and Kimberley well in the hunt, before the returning Jayasinghe had Blake caught behind.
Their partnership had laid the stage for the assault that was to come in the final ten overs though as Platts and the incoming Riley put their feet on the accelerator just at the right time to add 86.
With 22 needed Platts’ innings was curtailed by a sharp throw from Fernando and he had to depart to deserved applause; his 76 came off just 74 balls containing four fours and four sixes.
However, the job was not quite done, but that didn’t seem to faze James Mann (9*) as he strode out and calmly dispatched Jayasinghe for two boundaries which left just seven needed from the final two overs.
Riley smashed a six and four to win it and hand Kimberley their fourth win in a row.
The 2nd XI’s hot streak finally came to an end as visiting Kirby Portland walked away from Newdigate Street with a winning draw thanks to an excellent batting display.
Asked to bat first the visitors compiled a daunting 286-6 with opener Richard Underhill top scoring with 73. Andrew Dallison (51), Jason Caunt (44*) and Brett Jones (24*) also enjoyed themselves.
Dominic Wheatley was the pick of the bowling taking 2-47 with Alex Beale also claiming two and Dominic Brown and a Prab Sidhu run-out accounting for the other wickets.
In reply Kimberley looked to play positively but they kept losing wickets which hampered the run chase significantly.
Wicket-keeper Ben Johnson opened the innings with a spirited 67 which contained ten fours and two sixes, but aside from Brown (34) no other batsman passed 20 and in the end Kimberley had to settle for the losing draw as they batted their remaining overs out comfortably finishing on 197-8.
The seconds were then dumped out of the Popkess Cup on Sunday by 133 runs against Hoveringham.
The fourths picked up 19 points with a comfortable victory over Attenborough 4ths.
A solid opening stand of 77 between Chris Mozley (61) and 13-year-old Alex Aldred (22) set the tone and the base for a good total of 217-4, Joe Allport scoring 48 and Max Sugerman 47 not out.
Attenborough’s first wicket did not fall until the 19th over but with just 53 runs scored the opportunity arose for all ten outfield players to have a bowl.
Opener Blake notched 47, but there was little further in the way of stroke making.
The innings closed on 171-9 with Allport capping a good all round performance with three cheap wickets and Paul Blatherwick claiming an lbw on the last ball to bag an extra bowling point and figures of 9-6-5-3.