Kimberley Institute close in on top spot as NPL title race hots up

Kimberley Institute are slowly closing in on top spot in the Nottinghamshire Premier League with a massive game at title rivals Papplewick & Linby ahead this Saturday.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 10:00 am
Dominic Wheatley - superb innings for Kimberley. Pic by Peter Bacon.

Kimberley saw off Attenborough by 65 runs in a high-scoring clash last weekend to move up to fourth and now head to second-placed Papplewick

“It is a huge game at Papplewick,” admitted captain George Bacon.

“I am inclined to check the league a bit more often now we are working our way up it and it's looking good.

“If we win and get the full points at Papplewick we go within four points of them and still have three games in hand on them as well as Cuckney and Cavaliers.

“We are in a good spot at the moment but Saturday is a really big game.”

Against Attenborough, Kimberley had made 140-5 with 69 for Jack Nightingale, but it was Martin Weightman (126) and Dominic Wheatley (67) whose 116-run partnership sent them soaring to 321-9, Arjun Sandhu taking 4-53.

Attenborough then slumped to 38-3 before Zak Tribe (67) and Paldip Sidhu (78) added 112 together in resistance before they were all out for 256, Dominic Brown taking 3-52.

“It was one of the biggest totals of the season, if not the biggest, and it was a really good win,” said Bacon.

“We didn't actually start as well as we would have liked with the bat on a super-hot day. We wanted to bat first, but they actually won the toss and stuck us in.

“Jack Nightingale started really well and he and Matty (Taylor) got us off to a bit of a flier. Then we lost a few wickets in clusters in relatively quick succession.

“But then we had Martin Weightman at the crease with Dominic Wheatley and we were 140-5. We knew it was a really good pitch with a quick outfield and we really needed a partnership at that stage.

“Martin was absolutely brilliant. He was class. I don't know what Premier League 100 number that was for him but he's got plenty and he did it again when it really mattered.

“Some of his hitting at the end was really entertaining.

“But what was most satisfying was Dom Wheatley. He has played with us forever and been up and down between the ones and twos which shows our strength as he is class.

“He came in at seven, though he is far better than that, and just when we needed it he scored so quickly at better than a run a ball which took us from an under-par total to a platform which allowed for some hitting at the end and an over-par score.”

He added: “It was a good pitch and they had a good go. We started well and had them 38-3. But we probably let ourselves down a little bit and Paldip Sidhu, who used to play for Kimberley, batted well.

“In the end George Scottorn came back and bowled brilliantly at the death which killed the game and made sure we got the full eight points.”

Kimberley's NPL T20 quarter-final at Cuckney was called off last week due to Covid worries for the home side and will now be played this Thursday.

If Kimberley win they go through to T20 finals day on Sunday.

If they lose they will play Swarkestone away in the Derbyshire Premier Cup instead.

Having beaten Eckington away by nine wickets last Wednesday, the game at Swarkestone was called off last Sunday due to home players being in self-isolation.