The three weeks following the home loss to Plumtree have seen a collection of largely positive results.
First up was a trip to Costa del Papplewick Hall, where having won the toss, skipper Hunt elected to bat first. Steve Allcoat starred with the bat, hitting an unbeaten 73. With backup from Mierkalns (35) and Bicknell (33) a total of 223 for 9 was posted. This felt maybe 20 or so runs short of par.
That assessment seemed bang on as Dowman (32), Vines (51), Nel (68) and Nelson (29) set about the chase. However, with Hindson and Muzaffar chipping away things began to slow down. Haines then struck twice in an over and it was nerves all round. Needing six off the final over, Papplewick were unable to get much, and requiring 2 from the final ball for a win, could get nothing and had to settle for the losing draw. A “burglary” indeed.
No matter the weather leading up to, or just after a game a Papplewick Hall, I always end up lobstered to thermidore proportions when we go there.
Just a week later, and what felt like a 20degree down shift in temperatures, the star-studded WI Cavaliers come to Caythorpe.
This lot are ridiculously loaded, Alex Tudor and Usman Afzaal both played test cricket for England. Bilal Shafayat has been around the county scene fro some time. A number of others have star performers at various clubs, and of course there is the legend that is Saqlain Mushtaq (208 test wickets, almost 1000 runs). Only weather can stop them winning the league. Toss lost and the hosts were inserted. The innings never really got going, Alex Tudor shaking things up with 4 wickets and a bruiser to the arm of Hunt. (Hunty hasn’t played since). Thanks to the lower order digging in, marshalled well by an unbeaten 30 from Usman, the homeboys made it to 172 for 9.
Jim Hemmings struck first ball of the Cavs innings, but this only seemed to rile Bilal Shafayat, or he had an early dinner date, as he wasn’t for hanging about. His 96not out coming from 91 balls and seeing Cavs home for the loss of 3 wickets in the 31st over. A chastening result, but not the first, or indeed last the Cavs will hand out.
Two days later and league leaders Cuckney came calling for a Holiday Monday fixture. With the start delayed by rain, the umpires elected to reduce the match to 48 overs per side. On winning the toss, the visitors chose to bat. A decision that looked suspect after a fine spell from Hemmings (3-27) reduced them to 46 for 4. Butler and Parkin righted the ship a little with a stand of 80, but this was the cue for Kafeel to enter and blow away the tail. His figures of 5 for 46 ending the innings on 155. Strangely that’s pretty much a par score at Caythorpe first up this year.
The reply started slowly. Mierkalns out early and a painstaking 50 stand between Hawley and Bicknell saw the scoring rate hovering around 2 an over for long periods. The plan for later acceleration coming unstuck as both fell in quick succession along with Landa and stand-in skipper Allcoat. Hindson and Oldham added 50 together, and as Jimmy O reached 50 it was looking good. Entering the final over with 8 wanted, Oldham was run out off the second ball. 5 needed off 3, single to Muzaffar. Kafeel, new to the crease got 2 from his first ball, leaving 2 needed from the last ball. Boot on the other foot from the Papplewick game, but no worries. A cut for 4 delivered the win.
The most recent fixture was a visit to the Notts Sports Ground to take on the Academy, now top of the league after Monday’s results. Acadamy captain, Parkin-Coates won the toss and invited Caythorpe to bat. Webster and Gamble then reduced the side to 66 for 6. Only Mierkalns causing any problems with 33. From this point there was more tail wagging than at Crufts, as Hindson (23) and Hemmings (37) added 61. Usman chipped in with 22 and Kafeel hit 17 from just 6 balls to close the innings on 185 for 8.
The Academy reply followed a similar pattern. Wickets falling regularly as batsmen got starts but couldn’t go on. Aided by Usman taking 4for 38, the Academy were reduced to 90 for 8 and with 15 overs left outright victory looked there for the taking. Hutton (34*) and 16 year old Ben Kitt (28*) had other ideas, steering the home side in for a losing draw, as the closed 40 runs short.