CRICKET: Deadly double act stop worrying rot

FULL NELSON -- Mark Nelson smacked a century for Papplewick

FULL NELSON -- Mark Nelson smacked a century for Papplewick

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A DEADLY double act, starring batsman Mark Nelson and bowler Dane Straw, enabled Papplewick and Linby to stop the worrying early-season rot in the Notts Premier League (NPL).

PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY 266-5

WOLLATON 182-9

After just one win from their first eight NPL starts under new skipper Matthew Dowman, Papplewick badly needed a result against fellow strugglers Wollaton.

And Nelson’s century, plus Straw’s six-wicket haul, made sure they got it with a winning draw that proved they are far too good to be fighting relegation.

Nelson relished the decision to promote him in the batting order to number one and put behind him a quiet opening to the new campaign.

He thundered a magnificent 119 from 130 balls, thrashing four sixes and ten fours. And he shared stands of 46 with fellow opener Eamonn Vines (22), 115 with South African Warren Nel (36, one six and four fours) and 42 with Dowman himself (32, five fours).

It all added up to Papplewick posting a formidable total from their allotted 50 overs -- especially after Jim Rhodes (19) and Adam Rostance (16 not out) had added their own little cameos towards the end.

After tea, it was the turn of young spinner Straw to steal the limelight and vie with Nelson for the man-of-the-match accolade.

After splendid spells with the new ball from Jonathan Thrower (two for 35 in 12 overs, who removed both Wollaton openers, and Rhodes (one for 31 in 14), Straw was introduced by Dowman as second-change when Brad Matthews broke down with injury.

And he didn’t disappoint, returning six for 49 from 15 overs and destroying Wollaton’s middle and late order.

Among Straw’s victims were the home side’s leading rungetters, skipper Tim Young (56, one six and five fours), Ben Smith (33) and Alex Reed-Brewer (23, five fours).

From 147 for four, Wollaton sank to 168 for nine, leaving Papplewick on the verge of outright victory.

The locals were denied only by last-wicket defiance from tailenders Dominic Reed and Adam Davies, who batted out the last few overs to earn their team a losing draw.

PAPPLEWICK bowed out of the NPL’s Twenty20 Cup with a First Round defeat at the hands of West Indian Cavaliers.

Cavaliers chalked up 135 for two from their allotted 20 overs before restrticting the hosts to 115 for nine in reply.