Kimberley start off with a winning draw

MDB090525b3'kimberley v Clifton, Kimberley bowler Matt Wright
MDB090525b3'kimberley v Clifton, Kimberley bowler Matt Wright
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Kimberley Institute 296-6 winning draw v Mansfield Hosiery Mills 222-7

AN excellent batting display saw Kimberley start the season with a winning draw on a sun-drenched start to the season on Saturday.

Nick Langford, Carl Blake and Akhil Patel all scored half centuries to aid KICC’s cause, though visitors Mansfield were able to resist the bowling attack enough to secure a share of the points.

Kimberley captain Sam Ogrizovic called correctly at the toss and elected to bat first, though opening the innings with a show of intent he nearly ran partner Jon Terry out off of the first ball.

But despite the early scare he continued to look to take the attack to the Mansfield bowlers.

With 15 on the board Terry was adjudged caught behind off the bowling of Lewis Saxby (2-41) and this brought Patel (51) to the crease on his debut for Kimberley.

The pair proceeded at nearly a run a ball with a partnership of 65 before Ogrizovic gifted a simple catch to short cover when he was looking well set on 31; the score at 80-2 from 15 overs.

Despite the captain’s departure Kimberley did not let the pace drop with Langford (68) helping Patel to rattle up the runs with a partnership of 61 which was full of sumptuous drives and devastating hitting through the leg-side, Patel particularly peppering the mid-wicket boundary on regular basis.

Unfortunately for Kimberley Patel was out stumped with the score at 141-3 with 25 overs gone.

Blake (63) was next man in and the tempo was maintained as he and Langford added 114 - the highest stand of the game.

As Blake went steadily through the gears Langford continued with some fine stroke-play bringing up his 50 off 58 balls.

Blake soon followed, bringing up his half-century off just 52 deliveries during a period where, going off like dynamite, he hit five boundaries in succession.

With the score at 255-3 Kimberley had a slight wobble as Langford, Paul Riley and Blake were all out in quick succession to leave the score 257-6 in the 43rd over.

The innings’ momentum was saved though by a partnership full of hustle and bustle of 39 between Alex Robinson (20*) and Dominic Wheatley (14*), the pair guiding Kimberley to a formidable 296.

In reply, Mansfield got themselves off to a good start with openers Robert Townsend (27) and Mark Smallwood (18) putting on exactly 50 for the first wicket before Richard Adams (2-28) had the former caught behind.

The very next over Matt Wright (3-39) removed Smallwood, again snaffled behind the stumps and then, several overs later, Adams splayed Guruge Fernando’s wicket leaving Hosiery Mills reeling at 66-3 in the 18th over.

A consolidating stand of 69 between Matt New (33) and wicket-keeper Adam Whiteley (46) prevented any further damage, but the game quickly ebbed away from Mansfield.

Looking to break the partnership Ogrizovic turned to the spin of Patel (2-36) in search of a wicket and, with his first delivery he duly obliged, finding the edge of New’s bat with Ogrizovic himself taking a sharp catch to dismiss him.

Patel picked up another wicket six overs later trapping Whiteley lbw with a quicker ball and at 159-5 in the 39th over Kimberley sensed a chance at victory.

The returning Wright further lifted these hopes as he to trapped Stephen Ludlam leg-before, but a stand of 34 between captain Keshara Jayasinghe and Luke Rodgers just about made the draw safe for Hosiery Mills, despite Wright removing the former late on.

Although Kimberley will feel disappointed to not having bowled the visitors out they can only be buoyed by an excellent all-round display which was rewarded with 17pts.

l Kimberley won their opening tie in Group C of the Derbyshire Premier Cup by beating Alfreton by just five runs on Sunday.

Kimberley openers Paul Riley and Alex Robinson put on 121 for the first wicket but once they departed the hosts could only manage another 106 runs in their remaining overs, aided by a fine partnership between Paldip Sidhu and Dominic Wheatley. Tom Young took 5-39.

Alfreton’s reply was dominated by Jake Simpson’ 116 but Kimberley were able to hold on right to the end and claim a narrow win.