Kimberley endure a mixed weekend in league and cup

Sam Johnson hit an unbeaten 95 on Sunday.
Sam Johnson hit an unbeaten 95 on Sunday.

Kimberley Institute tasted joy and despair over the weekend as defeat in the league on Saturday was followed by a fine win in the National Cup.

Saturday’s loss proved galling for Kimberley as they collapsed from 92-2 to 155 all out chasing Radcliffe-on-Trent’s 166 in the Notts Premier League.

Playing on Radcliffe’s second pitch due to problems with the main square, Kimberley asked Radcliffe to bat first and the hosts posted 166 before being dismissed in the 49th over.

Spin twins Alex King (3-34) and Chris Glover (3-32) claimed six wickets with Dom Brown (2-21) and Tom Rowe (2-35) claiming the others.

It felt like Radcliffe had been given 30 runs too many with 22 extras (including four leg byes from an overthrow) accounting for some of those runs; Ed Hodgson’s chancy 31 from number nine also giving the home side a boost after they slipped to 121-7.

Shaun Levy (34) and Sam Johnson (30) got Kimberley off to a good start with another half-century stand that took them to 58 without loss in the 14th over and the scoring rate was well above the required rate.

Levy tried to launch young spinner Deavin-Baker (4-56) and could only find point and so Kimberley were one down.

Tom Rowe (10) came in and cracked a four and a six before top-edging Muzaffar (5-33) and being well caught by Carnelley.

Dominic Brown (10) followed Rowe with two big hits that put the field back and with Johnson ticking over at the other end Kimberley’s chase looked back on track, only to be derailed in the next three overs as Brown, Johnson and Aldred all departed.

It fell on the shoulders of King (36) and George Bacon (14) to stop the collapse and take Kimberley home and with a stand of 48 they seemed to be doing just that until Bacon missed a pull shot and was bowled by Muzaffar with the score on 140-6 and with Harry Ratcliffe falling two balls later to the same dismissal it was 140-7 and the game was wide open once more.

With King still there though Kimberley were surely favourites and even with Jack Blatherwick bowled by Deavin-Baker it still seemed the case at 147-8.

With just a few overs of spin left, and plenty of overs in hand, King and Ben Savage looked to see them off and seemed to have done so before King offered a bat-pad catch to short-leg off Muzaffar’s final ball and with it Kimberley’s hope were fading fast.

Savage and Glover managed to add two more before David Lucas returned to the attack and hit Glover front and, after an agonising wait, the umpire’s finger went up to hand Radcliffe a unlikely win by just 11 runs.

Sunday was a much better day for the first XI as they bounced back to beat the West Indian Cavaliers in the National Cup by 73 runs and progress into the group final to play for a place in the last 16 of the competition.

Sam Johnson’s excellent, unbeaten 95 held Kimberley’s innings together before an excellent bowling performance routed the Cavs with Chris Glover picking up four wickets for just seven runs.

The visitors opted to bowl first and ex-West Indian international Corey Collymore opened the attack alongside Kafeel Shafique (3-38). Shaun Levy (19) and Johnson had a few testing moments, but had taken the score to 35 in the tenth over before a loose drive from Levy gave Shafique his first wicket.

Indeed the first wicket stand was to remain the highest of the innings. Bajwah (3-37), Qayyum (1-36) and former Kimberley star Akhil Patel (1-34) the other wicket takers as they finished on 190-8 with Johnson unbeaten on 95.

Kimberley had a great start with the ball as Ben Savage (2-32) found the edge of Cavs’ skipper Bilal Shafayat’s bat in the third over with Alex King holding on at slip. The Cavs recovered to move to 42-1 with Adeel Shafique (13) and another former Kimberley man Paldip Sidhu (33) adding 40 for the second wicket.

Savage struck again though to dismiss Shafique lbw and with King (1-16) finding the edge of Sidhu’s bat and Harry Ratcliffe taking the catch four overs later the Cavs were wobbling at 68-3.

The big wickets of Patel (15) and Dominic Williamson came next as the game slipped away from the visitors; Dominic Brown (2-31) got both as Williamson pulled the ball straight onto his stumps and Patel top-edged to Savage at long-leg where he took a fine catch to make it 86-5 after 20 overs.

Aaron Thomas (20) and Mikey Millwood (8) tried to begin rebuilding the innings, but with the introduction of the miserly Glover into the attack they found scoring increasingly difficult and this led to Millwood picking out George Bacon at long-off to give Glover his first.

Bajwah found it equally difficult to score and in trying to play Glover behind square played straight onto his stumps; 111-7 after 31 and Nelson had another victim. Thomas’ frustration grew to and in trying to force the pace he only succeeded in offering a tame return catch and it was 114-8.

The coup de grace came quickly as Tom Rowe (1-9) splayed Shafique’s stumps and then Glover trapped Qayyum lbw at the start of the 35th over and the Cavaliers were well beaten at Kimberley yet again.

Kimberley will now play current NPL leaders Caythorpe at home on June 21st.

For news on Kimberley’s second, third and fourth XI games from last weekend, see page 38.