Kimberley Institute’s ended their championship winning season with a five wicket win over Caythorpe.
Heavy overnight rain, and then intermittent downpours, meant it was some time before play could begin and when it finally started 2 hours and 45 minutes later than normal Caythorpe had opted to bat first in a 70 over game.
They had the worst possible start as Jack Blatherwick (2-28) and Ben Savage (4-25) reduced them first to 10-3, 28-5 and then 45-6 after 13 overs. Blatherwick claiming his victims via catches from Alex King at slip and Alex Aldred at point and Savage via a caught behind from Harry Ratlciffe as he removed danger man Matt Dowman with a beauty and then Tom Rowe and Chris Glover were given several easy chances by batsmen in end of season mode.
The score became 51-7 as George Bacon (1-17) entered into the attack as he removed Jim Hemmings thanks to a catch from Shaun Levy. Despite the collapse at one end opener James Oldham (52) had just about kept Caythorpe afloat and finally found a willing partner in Hasnain Nasir (17) as the pair added 40 for the 8th wicket before Nasir played all round a King (1-16) delivery and was bowled.
Glover (2-22) then prized out Oldham thanks to another Ratcliffe catch and bowled Eddie Clarke to leave Caythorpe all out for a sorry 113 in the 33rd over – Kimberley gaining an extra two overs should they need them.
Despite the loss of Levy early on, given out caught behind, Dominic Brown (53) and Rowe (10) looked in control as they moved the score to 29 in the 6th over only for Rowe to fall. Sam Johnson (7) added 28 with Brown as they too looked in complete control only for Johnson to edge to slip with the score on 57.
The following over Brown took apart youngster Shenton as he plundered 18 runs from his sole offering to move to his 6th half-century of the season and at 75-3 the game was almost done and dusted. Sadly Brown’s afternoon was to as he managed to miscue a drive and had to depart.
Aldred (12) and Bacon (17*) took Kimberley past the hundred mark, but with just 11 needed Aldred managed to pick out a boundary rider. So captain King (6*) joined his vice-captain to seal the win – as they had done several times this season – as the winning runs came in the 22nd over and the champagne could be popped and the celebrations begun.
The title triumph is a quite remarkable achievement for this young side, but the best feature of it has been the collective effort from all parts of the team: a powerhouse top order featuring Rowe (760 runs), Johnson (717), Brown (707) and Levy (698) meant that there was almost always one batsman producing a score and Bacon (280) and King (239) backed them up; often with useful runs in the death throes of the 1st innings or when chasing.
It was the same on the bowling front as whilst King (41) and Bacon (37) led the way in the wicket count they were backed up well by Savage (23), Glover (22), Brown (16), Rowe (14) and Blatherwick (13) who all produced spells that helped to win matches.
Aldred’s quick fire 77* against Attenborough helped to win that match and beat the rain on a day when other matches were abandoned and put Kimberley on top, Dominic Wheatley was exemplary in the field at all times and Jon Terry stood in when required as he reached 250 NPL appearances in a Kimberley shirt and even donned the keepers gloves on several occasions; all the right ingredients are in place for the defence of the crown next season.