Kimberley draw despite Birch knock
Kimberley’s close season signing of Dan Birch from Clifton signalled their intent to make a serious bid for the title.
Until now, it had failed to pay dividends but an astonishing innings of 180 not out in Kimberley’s winning draw against Wollaton reaffirmed his reputation though did little to pull his team out of the relegation zone.
Batting first, Kimberley raced to 311 for five from their 50 overs with Birch’s runs coming from just 159 balls with 16 fours and nine sixes and is the sixth highest individual total in Premier League history.
He put on 134 for the second wicket with John Terry (55) after Akhil Patel had fallen for 31. At an early point in their reply, Wollaton were 66 for five but Ian Dodd dug in to stabilise the response with an unbeaten innings of 62.
But despite using nine different bowlers, Kimberley could not take the final wicket as the visitors clung on to avoid their eleventh defeat at 195 for nine but they remain in the relegation zone.
Another outstanding individual performance took place at the Clifton Oval where the home side easily dispatched the league’s bottom side Worksop by 227 runs.
Clifton batted first and racked up 293 for nine with major contributions from Scott McNeill (86), Tom Lungley (67), James Taylor (33) and Richard Harris (30) with Wayne Spooner continuing his good recent form with 3-48.
The Worksop batting unit was struggling heavily when they got to 66 for six with only opener Gareth Pursehouse resisting on 38 not out.
Adam Shepherd had been the major destroyer with figures at that point of 4-32. But his day just got better and better as he clean bowled the last four batsmen in just four balls to end with 8-32, the eighth best return in league history.
The third outstanding individual performance of the day came at Birchover Park where Caythorpe secured a winning draw against the West Indian Cavaliers.
The home side fielded first and conceded 282 for four largely due to the third successive hundred for the red hot James Hawley. He ended on 125 from just 143 balls and led a stand of 175 with Darren Bicknell (80) for the second wicket with James Oldham chipping in with 31 not out from just 15 balls at the end of the innings.
The powerful Cavaliers batting line up lost eight wickets in their chase and closed on 208 with Rawait Khan scoring 67 and Bilal Shafayat 48.
Cuckney remain at the top of the table after grabbing a 160 run victory away at Papplewick. The home side won the toss and fielded first but any thoughts that they could restrict the league leaders to a low score were dashed when they closed on 305 for eight.
Nick Langford was again in fine form with 101 from just 114 balls supported by Ian Parkin (45 not out) and Adam Burgess (39). Papplewick skipper Matt Dowman grabbed four wickets for 50 and Gareth Blinkhorn took 3-71.
The home side were dismissed for 145 in the 32nd over with Parkin having a fine day with 4-17 and Luke Wood recording 3-43 with Jim Rhodes (40) and Mark Nelson (32) doing their best to stave off defeat.
The Nottinghamshire Academy kept up the pressure at the top of the table by grabbing full win points away at Plumtree. The home side opted to bat first on winning the toss and were looking good on 89 for two with Matt Wood (33) and Neil Edwards (45) going well but they contrived to lose eight wickets for just 31 runs for a well under par 120.
Adam Tillcock put the ball in the right place and enjoyed his return of 5-11 from 9.3 overs. This total was easily knocked off by the county side for the loss of just one wicket with Anuj Dal (40 not out) and Sam Kelsall (46 not out) seeing them over the line.
To round off an excellent days cricket, Mansfield Hosiery Mills secured a dramatic 30 run victory away at Welbeck with three balls of the match remaining.
The Millers batted first and ended with 259 for six from their 50 overs with Tom New scoring 93, brother Matt getting 51. James Fraser contributed 40 and Jonathan Ball took 4-77 for Welbeck.
The home side lost regular wickets in their chase but could not quite hang on for the draw despite runs for Robert French (66), Andy Marchant (42) and Kyle Francis with 35. The visitors’ bowling honours went to Keshara Jayasinghe who took 4-40 and Matt New rounded off a good day with 4-64.