CRICKET: Rolls take another step to promotion ‘holy grail’

NUMBER ONE -- Rolls skipper Saleem Karim is hoping that's where his Rolls-Royce side will be sitting come the end of the season -- DISPIC NHUD11-2272-8
NUMBER ONE -- Rolls skipper Saleem Karim is hoping that's where his Rolls-Royce side will be sitting come the end of the season -- DISPIC NHUD11-2272-8

THE MARCH of Rolls-Royce Leisure towards the ‘holy grail’ of promotion to the Notts Premier League and the title in Division A of the Gunn And Moore South Notts League continued with victory over their nearest rivals, Notts Unity Casuals.

NOTTS UNITY CASUALS 134-9

ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE 135-6

Rolls have been moulded into a fine unit this term by new chief John Birch — formerly guru at the Dispatch district’s top club, Papplewick and Linby — and their undoubted talent is really flourishing under his stewardship.

And once again they were equal, in all departments, to every challenge thrown at them by home side Casuals in this top-of-the-table clash.

First under the microscope was their bowling attack and they performed superbly in a match reduced to 40 overs per side because of the impact on the pitch of recent heavy rain.

First opening bowler and skipper Saleem Karim (three for 43 from 13 overs) set the tone and he worked well in tandem with spinner Husnain Riaz (one for 30 from eight), who was surprisingly also thrown the new ball.

Scott Harvey (22, one four) and Neil Patel (21, two fours) threatened to lay some sort of platform but Ansar Khan (two for 15 from seven overs) and Liaqat Ali (three for 36 from 12) upped the ante and finished the job.

Had it not been for a surfeit of 40 extras, including no less than 22 wides, Rolls would have been chasing down a sub-100 target.

As it was, they timed their chase to perfection and made their victory target with four balls to spare.

Openers Wasim Karim (14, one four) and Mathew Roberts (17) started things off before Rahim Karim (16, one four) and Arslan Butt (17) laid the foundation for Shaharyar Aslam to hit what proved to be a matchwinning 48 (four fours).

Conor Scott (three for 45 from 12 overs) and Bobby Banerjee (two for 19 from eight) did their best to halt the Rolls progress but Waheed Khan (six, one four) found the winning runs in the last over.