The second half of the season began in much the same way as the first with Kimberley Institute getting the better of reigning league and National Cup champions West Indian Cavaliers.
Chris Glover’s five wickets did much to help Kimberley secure a winning draw and their first double over the Cavs in the Premier League era, making them only the fourth team to do this since the NPL’s inception in 1999.
Overnight rain had left the outfield a little on the damp side, but play began on time with Alex King choosing to bat first upon winning the toss.
Jon Terry announced himself with a six in the second over before the bowler Shafique (1-16) uprooted his stumps in the sixth to leave Kimberley 14-1.
Dominic Brown (29) and Tom Rowe (41) added 67 as Kimberley gradually gained the upper hand, Rowe hitting five fours and a six whilst Brown picked up the ones and twos as the partnership flourished.
Ricky Anderson (1-36) had other ideas though as found the edge of Brown’s bat to have him caught behind in the 22nd over.
Rowe, when seemingly well set, offered a tame chance to Anderson in the gully with Usman Afzaal (3-54) the bowler and when drinks came the innings was evenly poised at 92-3.
Sam Johnson (13) and Sam Ogrizovic (29) added 29 as Kimberley seemed to getting into a good position again, until Johnson was adjudged lbw in a controversial decision.
Ogrizovic and Dominic Wheatley (16) added 30 for the fifth wicket before the former fell and with Wheatley out to Akhil Patel (1-44) in the 44th Kimberley were 158-6 after 44.
Enter George Bacon (33*) and King (22*) and a late assault which boosted the total by 51 runs as Kimberley closed on 209-6.
It was seam though that gained the first wicket when Bacon (1-15) had Afzaal caught at mid-wicket by Rowe with just eight on the board in the third over.
Patel (44) and Dominic Williamson (34) added 82 runs for the second wicket before Glover took the vital scalp of Patel lbw in his fourth over and then the wicket of former Kimberleyite Paldip Sidhu in his next as Brown took a great catch; 95-3 and game on.
James Mann (2-42) then had Bilal Shafayat caught on the square-leg boundary by Ben Savage who took good, low catch; 124-4 after 36.
Glover then claimed his third, fourth and fifth wickets, seeing off keeper Thomas, caught by Ogrizovic, then Hussain and Gada in consecutive balls, both caught by Bacon on the long-off boundary.
Amidst the clatter of wickets Williamson was still there and whilst he was at the crease the Cavs still had a chance, if only a very slim one.
Williamson though over extended himself going for a sweep shot and had hurt himself and thus needed a runner, but the pressure got to him to as he hit Mann straight to Brown at long-off and now Kimberley were only two wickets from victory and eight overs to try and get them.
They only had to wait two as King (1-41) bowled Shafique and then it was 39 balls for one wicket.
Glover probed away but in vain as he couldn’t get his sixth wicket, but still finished with outstanding figures of 15-4-25-5.
In the 48th over Kimberley thought they’d done it when Anderson appeared to glove a King delivery to leg-gully only for the umpire to shake his head and say not out and the final pair survived until the end with the score reading 147-9.
The second XI had no fixture but the third XI beat Burton Joyce by five wickets in a thrilling encounter.
Burton Joyce batted first and made 198-9 from their 45 overs, mostly thanks to their middle and lower order.
Ben Crouch ended with 3 for 19, Matt Ross 3 for 21.
The Kimberley innings started well with a 50 partnership from Alex Aldred and Ed Wright, but they were soon pegged back to 80-3 to leave them needing 119 from the final 23 overs.
Danny Williams made 48 and Joe Allport 46 not out as Kimberley achieved their aims with 13 balls to spare and five wickets in hand to secure 19 points.
The fourth XI had a day to forget at home to Ellerslie as they were bowled out for just 85 with Luke Barlow’s 35 accounting for nearly half of the total.
In reply the visitors really rubbed salt into the wound as they chased down the required runs in just the 12th over as Carl Stahlberger hit an unbeaten 60 off just 29 balls.
The second XI moved into the quarter-finals of the Popkess Cup on Sunday with a nine-wicket win over Calverton.
The visitors were all out for 166, Connor Richardson’s 4-40 the highlight for Kimberley who then knocked the target off with ease, Krutarth Dave (78) and Harry Ratcliffe (71 not out) helping them along with an opening stand of 145.