CRICKET: Rolls four matches from date with destiny

HUNT FOR SILVERWARE -- Rolls-Royce Leisure are on the verge of adding to their trophy cabinet and sparking more celebrations like this when they won last year's Spencer Cup
HUNT FOR SILVERWARE -- Rolls-Royce Leisure are on the verge of adding to their trophy cabinet and sparking more celebrations like this when they won last year's Spencer Cup

JUST four matches stand between Rolls-Royce Leisure and the promised land of promotion to the Notts Premier League after their latest win in Division A of the Gunn And Moore South Notts League.

SOUTHWELL 181-9

ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE 185-4

Champions-elect Rolls would have to suffer a spectacular dip in form — and the loss of two of those matches — if they were to lose the title at this stage.

For last Saturday, they were too strong for Southwell in a six-wicket win inspired by the individual exploits of Shaharyar Aslam.

First he helped restrict the visitors to a manageable total with a five-wicket haul.

Then he got the bit between his teeth with the bat to smack a matchwinning unbeaten century.

Southwell are in the bottom half of the table and after being asked to bat, only four of their players made it into double figures — opener Tim Green (35, four fours), Alastair Haynes (19, one four), Matt Wookey (26, two fours) and Devon McCarthy (30, two sixes and one four).

Opening bowler Saleem Karim (two for 55 from 14 overs) had started the rot.

But it was Aslam who rammed home the advantage as he came on as third change and claimed five victims for the concession of just 35 runs in 11 overs.

In fact, had it not been for a bumper total of extras (46), Rolls would have been asked to chase a nominal target.

A few butterflies started to flutter as openers Wasim Karim and Matthew Roberts fell cheaply in reply.

But Arslan Butt (41, five fours) steadied the ship and when Aslam came to the wicket, there was going to be only one winner.

He rapped six sixes in his knock and 13 boundaries as he finished unbeaten on 108 and Rolls were home and hosed by the 35th of their allotted 46 overs.

The only wicket-taker for Southwell was James Johnston (three for 47 from 11 overs).

THE TITLE RUN-IN

Tomorrow (Saturday) v Balderton (home);

Saturday August 25 v Radcliffe-On-Trent (away);

Saturday September 1 v Hucknall (home);

Saturday September 8 v Clifton Village 2nd (away)