Kimberley Institute’s 2014 NPL campaign began with a low-scoring, nerve-jangling, nail-biting yet thrilling one wicket win over the reigning champions West Indian Cavathat will live long in the memory
A fine bowling performance led by James Mann’s four wickets created the possibility of victory before Alex King, with a little help from Chris Glover, guided Kimberley home in an unbroken last-wicket stand.
Captain Sam Ogrizovic called correctly and inserted the Cavs on a rather enigmatic wicket – and so it proved throughout the match with variable bounce and plenty of life to keep the bowlers interested.
Given the conditions, however, the Cavs opening pair of Akhil Patel (19) and Paldip Sidhu (19) navigated their way to 38 without loss, before Patel airily hit Mann’s fourth ball straight to Dom Wheatley at point and then Amar Rashid was beaten all ends up next ball and bowled for a golden duck on debut and the Cavs were 38-2.
Mann then caused Sidhu to offer a dolly to King four overs later and with new man Hassan lobbing another simple catch to Dominic Brown via George Bacon (3-28) the scoreboard read 48-4 after 20 overs.
It gradually ticked up to 60 in the 29th over before Mann again struck by trapping Cavs skipper Bilal Shafayat (11) lbw, Ben Savage (2-23) getting in on the act to dismiss Aqib Afzaal and keeper Thomas to leave Cavs 61-7 after 30.
Eighth wicket pair Ahmed (11) and Shafique (13) added a gritty 27 runs to move them onto 88 before Bacon broke the stand by bowling Shafique in the 42nd over.
Tom Rowe (1-1) and Bacon then mopped up the tail by dismissing Ahmed and Anderson and leave Cavs a final total of 90 and Kimberley 56 overs to chase it down.
The reply started cautiously as new opening pair Rowe and Dominic Brown added 16 in the first five overs but that quickly became 18-2 and then 23-4 as Kimberley lost wickets in clusters, much like the Cavaliers did.
Rowe edged Ahmed (1-15) behind, Ogrizovic went lbw to Anderson (2-23), Sam Johnson was run out and Brown was bowled by Shafique (5-36)
Bacon (11) and Wheatley (6) rallied though and slowly added 18 runs for the fifth wicket but back came the Cavaliers and Shafique to remove both, Wheatley caught and bowled and Bacon to a jaffa.
The returning Jon Shaw could only add four before Shafique trapped him lbw, Mann then being bowled for a golden duck to leave Kimberley 56-8.
Anderson then picked up his second victim when Savage was caught behind to make it 63-9 in the 29th.
This brought Glover (3*) to the crease and he joined King (21*) to pull off a remarkable last wicket stand; 28 priceless runs that could prove vital over the course of the season, King hitting the winning runs to bring jubilation to the visitors.
Kimberley’s second XI beat Bottesford by 38 runs at the 2bm Ground.
Young Sukhdeep Sidhu wasa the architect as he took 7-34 from just 11 overs to leave Bottesford in a spin.
Kimberley were all out for 201, Steve Bennett with 45 and Alex Aldred 35 - the extras column being most fruitful with 48.
Danny Williams (3-21) claimed both Bottesford openers early on but after a third wicket stand of 109 got the visitors back in the game, Sidhu swiftly ripped through the order to eventually see them bowled out for 163, Williams wrapping things up in the penultimate over.
In the National Knockout Cup on Sunday, Kimberley’s firsts were well beaten by Sandiacre.
Bowling first Kimberley did a reasonable job of restricting the home side to 159-7 after 38 overs, Jon Shaw (3-42) in particular, but John Jordison (54*) mauled the bowling in the last seven overs to leave Kimberley chasing a hefty 245.
They scored only 95 of them, Alex King top scoring with 25 as Marius Conway-Jones (5-27) blasted a hole in the top order before Rob Cook (2-16) wrapped the game up in the 37th.