Kimberley Institute’s first XI recorded a routine six wicket victory over Welbeck on Saturday as they extended their unbeaten run to eight games in the Notts Premier League.
George Bacon’s first five wicket haul of the season combined with Alex King’s four wickets helped to dismiss the home side for a below par 181 and Shaun Levy (53) and Dominic Brown (50*) made half-centuries as Kimberley chased down their target with 15 overs to spare.
The home side opted to bat first and perhaps opener Matt Higgins might have rued his captain’s decision as he gloved Jack Blatherwick (1-17) to Bacon at slip.
With Blatherwick producing a fiery opening burst and Ben Savage keeping things reasonably tight at the other Welbeck’s second wicket pair of skipper Simon Widdup (76) and Andrew Parkin-Coates (38) were content to tick the score over as they moved to 86-1 before King struck in his first over to remove Parkin-Coates lbw and make it 86-2 after 23 overs.
Richard Stroh (8) and Tom Lungley (16) both gave their captain some support, but neither partnership ever really got going and Welbeck were not looking in a great position at 147-4 in the 40th over.
King had seen off Stroh thanks to a caught behind from Jon Terry and Bacon’s return had done for Lungley as he holed out to Blatherwick at long-on.
Welbeck’s lower order fell away thereafter as they could only muster a further 31 runs in the final ten overs as Bacon and King ran amok.
They combined to dismiss Greg Herbert and Widdup within eight runs of each other; the former for a duck with Bacon taking a good slip catch and then King returned the favour taking a simple catch to remove the latter.
With Lewis Cameron picking out Johnson with unerring accuracy Bacon had his third wicket and then he did his own fielding as keeper Hunt skied a return catch to make it 164-8.
Jonathan Ball (16) had offered some resistance before King castled him in the 49th over and with Savage taking a good catch at long-off to remove Ainger, Bacon had his deserved fifth and Welbeck were all out with two balls left of the innings.
Kimberley’s reply didn’t get off to the best of starts with Alex Aldred edging Stroh (3-58) to Lungley in the second over, but Levy and Tom Rowe (26) countered and amassed 70 in nine overs to ease any nerves and set the chase up.
Levy enjoyed repeatedly pulling the ball to the boundary as the Welbeck attack kept trying the short ball to him only to see it keep disappearing over the ropes.
Rowe had played his usual languid innings only to offer catching practice to Widdup, to make it 73-2 after 11 overs.
Johnson (23) looked to continue the attack as he struck two fours and a big six off Stroh only for the bowler to have the last laugh as he was adjudged caught behind after being strangled down the leg-side; 104-3 after 16.
Levy had been content to watch Johnson move the score along, but was soon back in the spotlight as he reached his half-century with an imperious cover drive, the only downside his dismissal in the next over as he played an ungainly sweep against Ball (1-41) and was caught by Cameron at point off the top-edge.
That made it 128-4 and with Kimberley needing a further 51 Brown and Bacon (11*) took them home with a steady partnership before Brown cut loose with the winning line in sight as he took Ball for 16 in the 35th over to seal another 20 points.
Kimberley stay top having now amassed 155 points out of the last 160 available and move six points clear with Plumtree only able to draw with Attenborough.
They welcome Radcliffe-on-Trent to Newdigate Street on Saturday looking to make it nine games unbeaten.
Sunday saw the first XI’s National Cup campaign come to a halt at Northern CC from the Liverpool league.
They opted to bowl first and restricted their hosts to 200-9 with George Bacon taking four wickets.
In reply Kimberley were in trouble at 11-2, but with Tom Rowe’s fall at 64-4 having scored 37 they were left with a lot to do. Bacon (39) did his best with a combative knock, but with his fall at 136 in the 37th over Kimberley’s chances went with him.