Kimberley Institute’s frustratingly indifferent season continued as they could only record a losing draw away at Plumtree.
A torrential downpour had threatened to wipe out any chance of play, but eventually it relented and a reduced-over game got underway at 3.15pm.
Kimberley had several changes with Dom Wheatley and Jon Terry ill and injured respectively so in came James Taylor for his first XI debut and Harry Ratcliffe to don the gloves.
Asked to bat first on a slow wicket Plumtree made a decent start to the their 35 over innings with brothers Sam (29) and Ben (26) Storey adding 41 for the 1st wicket until Alex King (1-55) had Ben adjudged lbw when sweeping.
Two more useful stands followed with Sam Storey adding 31 with Joe Tetley (56*) before he was Chris Glover’s first victim after offering an easy catch to Sam Ogrizovic at point.
Tetley then added 50 with David Bedingham (21) to take the score to 122-2 in the 28th over before Glover and Ogrizovic combined again to remove the South African thanks to a spectacular, one-handed effort from the Kimberley captain.
A score of 122-2 became 139-6 as Plumtree lost wickets in the push for runs; George Bacon (2-39) grabbed one whilst Glover gained two more thanks to a catch from King and a stumping from Ratcliffe.
Both wickets came in Glover’s final over as he finished with excellent figures of 10-1-24-4.
His spell and the clatter of wickets had slowed the Plums up somewhat and it seemed like something around 150 was about all they would get when Bacon knocked over Bhabra’s stumps in the last over, but that was until Tetley boosted the total with two big sixes onto the Pavilion roof.
A run out from the final ball left Plumtree a shade over par at 163-8.
Kimberley’s reply started cautiously as Dom Brown (28) and Tom Rowe (20) were watchful early on before beginning to ignite the burners as a flurry of boundaries brought the scoring rate right into line; Rowe hitting two big sixes with one clip of his legs disappearing over the mid-wicket fence and into the adjoining field.
The total stood at 48 without loss in the 12th over before an airy off drive from Rowe via Glen Read (2-33) found the mid-off fielder who held on after brief juggle and the batsman departed happy that the fielder hadn’t grounded the ball before claiming it at the second attempt.
The score of 48-1 then became 51-3 as the skipper fell lbw to Qayyum (2-13) and then Read shaped one back into Brown to dismiss him in the same manner.
After that the innings ground to halt as Sam Johnson (8) and Taylor (14) struggled to score adding just 21 in eleven overs before Johnson’s scratchy innings was ended when he guided a Usman (2-49) delivery straight onto his stumps with the score on 72.
The game had gone for Kimberley by that point as needing nine-an-over in the last ten whilst not impossible, was highly improbable.
The lower order kept trying though and this only led to wickets tumbling with Taylor run-out, King bowled by Qayyum and James Mann holing out to long-on from just his second ball and with the score at 108-7 in the 31st Plumtree even had an outside shot at an outright win.
Ratcliffe dug in though whilst Bacon (43*) struck some lusty blows and despite the former’s fall in the penultimate over Kimberley held out for the losing draw.
Gaining just seven points they sit eighth in the NPL after eight games and will be hoping to return to winning ways when Ratcliffe visit on Saturday.
The first XI were the only side to play on Saturday with Kimberley’s three other sides fixtures falling victim to the weather.