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Curtain Up – New Season starts now

Caythorpe Dig Deep in Kimberley
Week four of the Notts Premier League and at long last Caythorpe’s season could begin. Having fallen short at Chesterfield in the National Cup six days previously, it was to the Private Ground at Kimberley attentions were turned.

Skipper Hunt won the toss and on a ground showing no ill effects from all the rain invited the home side to have first dig.

After six overs he may well have been regretting the decision. Birch, employing a “see ball, hit ball” tactic, aided by a generous helping of wides and no-balls, saw the score race to 57. Enter “The Dot Machine”. Tim Haines’ introduction to the attack started to slow things a little. James Hemmings inducing a snick from Birch, snaffled by Steve Allcoat applied a further brake on the scoring.

Darren Bicknell replaced Hemmings at the Pavilion End and together with Haines proceeded to start tying down the batsmen. The scoring rate continued to drop, and Ogrizovic was next to depart, bowled Haines having added 40 with Terry. With the score on 102-2 a big total still looked on the cards. Terry didn’t last much longer, Bicknell picking him up, before Haines got to work. Patel, Sidhu, Riley and Wheatley came and went as the big man finished with 5 for 42 off his 15, reducing the Kimberley lineup to 148 for 7. Importantly for Kimberley, James Mann was still at the crease. He’d had a life, having been dropped when on 17, but with support from first Roberts then Wright, he was able to take the innings into the 50th over, striking three sixes on his way to an unbeaten 59. The run out of Adams ending the innings with 3 balls remaining. The total of 212 all out significantly fewer than had looked on the cards in the early part of the innings. Credit to the Caythorpe bowlers for sticking at it and dragging it back, whilst one or two of the batsmen may want their final strokes back.

Post tea, and Kimberley came out fired up to defend their score. Plenty of noise and chat in the field, backed up good opening spells from Wright and Roberts. Neither bowler giving anything away, as they made early inroads. Both Hawley and Landa making six before each was cleaned up.

With Kimberley seemingly back on top, Bicknell and Mierkalns came together. Bicknell using his experience to rotate the strike, both cashing in on the rare bad ball, and slowly a partnership began to develop. None of the change bowlers were given a chance to get into any rhythm as two and three over spells became the order of the day. Bicknell was first to his 50, followed shortly after by Mierkalns, who appeared to be in the mood and having hit back to back fours to go past 50 was promptly out, adjudged lbw to the returning Roberts. None the less the partnership of 118 looked to have laid the platform for victory. Allcoat joined Bicknell, taking the score to 174. Dominic Wheatley entered the fray for the hosts and struck with two wickets in his first over. Bicknell his first victim, offering a tame catch to Patel, James Oldham the second, lbw for 6.

Having been very quiet for several overs, the Kimberley fielders began to find their voices once more, Hunt as captain been encouraged to feel the nerves of the situation. He and Allcoat remained calm however slowly chipping away at the runs required until a pair of boundaries from Allcoat sealed the win with 15 balls remaining.

A great win to get the season underway, with both sides enjoying periods of the game where they looked favourites to win. Next up, the first home match of the campaign as Plumtree come to Caythorpe.

Scorecard is here.

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