CRICKET: Hucknall beat rain but not derby rivals

GREAT SCOTT ' stand-in skipper Scott Harris, who starred for Hucknall
GREAT SCOTT ' stand-in skipper Scott Harris, who starred for Hucknall

A STAGGERING total of more than 4,000 litres of water were removed from the covers at the New Gatehouse ground as Hucknall worked miracles to ensure their big derby clash with Rolls-Royce Leisure went ahead last weekend.

HUCKNALL 155

ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE 159-2

But although Hucknall beat the weather to host one of just two games that went ahead in the Gunn And Moore South Notts League, they couldn’t beat championship-chasing Rolls in a thoroughly entertaining clash for Division A points.

In fact, Rolls eventually ran out comfortable winners by eight wickets after having the best of the key moments in the match to maintain their stranglehold at the summit of the league table.

Their first big boost came before a ball was bowled with news that Hucknall’s star batsman and skipper, Robin Maxwell, was at a wedding, which meant he was missing from a first-team line-up for the first time in 79 matches stretching back to July 2008.

Their impetus continued as they won the toss and made the obvious decision to bowl on a weather-affected pitch and duly reduced the home side to 16 for two.

But the pendulum then swung decisively in Hucknall’s favour as stand-in skipper Scott Harris, in at number three, and Richard Greatorex embarked on a century stand for the third wicket.

Hucknall were eyeing a big total at 116 for two off 29 overs when they were hit by a collapse.

First Harris, who hit a six and seven fours, went for 54 when looking to cut Liaqat Ali, and then after Lee Smith went cheaply, Greatorex also departed for 57 (one six and six fours) when he was caught and bowled off the first ball of spinner Shaharyar Aslam’s second spell.

The rest of the line-up folded with the last seven wickets falling for just 30 as Aslam (four for 16 from 7.3 overs) and Ali (four for 33 from ten) finished with four victims apiece.

After another downpour during the tea interval, Rolls finally came out to bat at 6.20 pm and openers Wasim Karim and Matthew Roberts (12) put on 61 for the first wicket without incident.

Max Thompson (one for 30 from four overs) had Roberts caught at short mid-wicket and then Jake Wright (one for 59 from 8.4 overs) bowled the dangerous Rahim Karim.

But Rolls had too much in the locker, most notably Wasim, who carried his bat for an impressive knock of 82 (three sixes and ten fours) off 86 balls.

Although rain clouds threatened, the match was completed at 9.50 pm in the 33rd over of the reply as Arslan Butt (37 not out, seven fours) hit the winning runs in front of a large crowd.