THE TOILS of struggling Papplewick and Linby continued in the Notts Premier League (NPL) as they were comprehensively beaten by seven wickets by high-flying Kimberley in their first full outing of a rain-ravaged month.
PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY 203-8
The Dispatch district top-ranked side put together a decent batting display in the hands of skipper Matthew Dowman, who anchored their innings.
But their bowling was put to the sword by Akhil Patel, who carried his bat for an undefeated century to see the home side home with fully ten overs to spare.
It means Papplewick have recorded just two outright victories in their 14 matches this season (five abandoned) and they are languishing third from bottom in the table.
The campaign is shaping up to be one of their worst since joining the NPL in 2003 and follows on from last season when they also struggled, finishing tenth of 12 teams with their lowest-ever points’ tally.
They now have eight matches in which to turn around their fortunes but, like other sides, will also have to contend with a tough fixture backlog.
Earlier in the day, things looked promising as Papplewick, when asked to bat, got off to a solid start with Mark Nelson (37, one six and four fours) and Eamonn Vines (15, two fours) putting on 53 for the opening wicket.
A mini-collapse saw them slip to 76 for three with the openers being removed and New Zealander Warren Nel sent packing for a duck.
But Dowman was still at the crease, compiling a knock of 69 that combined patience with an explosively putting away the bad ball as most of his runs came from three sixes and nine fours.
He found willing support from Tom Bowers (37, four fours) and stalwart Jim Rhodes (22 not out from 19 balls with one six and two fours).
Patel came on to slow progress with two wickets for 15 runs in three overs, including Graeme Roberts for a golden duck. But overall, Papplewick would have been pleased with their display.
Things got even better when Jim Rhodes (one for 45 from 10.5 overs) removed Kimberley opener Dan Birch for a duck without a run on the board.
The home side then stumbled again to 66 for three when Dowman (two for 43 from ten overs) came on as second change.
But that was the end of the good news for the locals as opener Patel marched towards a scintillating century and found support from Paldip Sidhu (34, one six and two fours).
The pair compiled an unbroken, matchwinning stand of 138 with Patel smashing two sixes and 13 boundaries in his knock of 113 from 119 balls.