Debut century blast by Phillips

HATS OFF TO AFZAAL -- former England Test batsman Usman Afzaal helped West Indian Cavaliers to steamroller Papplewick and Linby.
HATS OFF TO AFZAAL -- former England Test batsman Usman Afzaal helped West Indian Cavaliers to steamroller Papplewick and Linby.

FIRECRACKER batting by a Notts CCC player better known for his bowling maintained the storming start to the new season b y ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE.

Veteran Ben Phillips has scored only one century in a first-class career spanning 17 years.

But he needed only 48 balls to smack one for Rolls in a runaway winning draw against Clifton Village in their second match since being promoted to the Notts Premier League.

Phillips, who plays only occasionally at Trent Bridge these days, has been snapped up as one of two professionals at Rolls, alongside Notts teammate Luke Fletcher.

And he proceeded to unleash a debut to remember, going in at number six and blasting 107.

The 38-year-old Londonder, who has also seen service at Kent, Northamptonshire and Somerset over the years, struck ten sixes and six fours in an innings that fired Rolls to a monster total in their allotted 50 overs.

Phillips put on 149 for the fifth wicket with another new signing, Tom Lungley, who had a spell on the books of Derbyshire. Lungley lashed an unbeaten 81 off 75 balls, which included 12 boundaries.

Rolls had also been well served by earlier knocks of 54 (12 fours) from opener/skipper Dan Birch, 32 (six fours) from Adeel Shafique and 24 (three fours) from James Taylor.

Birch, who was posting his second successive half-century since taking the Rolls reins, shared 91 for the first wicket with Shafique.

The onslaught left visitors Clifton Village, who were league champions three years on the trot between 2009 and 2011, on their knees.

And they were soon in further trouble after tea when man-of-the-match Phillips took the new ball and removed opener Richard Harris on his way to fine figures of two for 29 from ten overs.

Lungley (two for 50 in 14 overs) also shone as Clifton soon realised that their only chance of retrieving something from the game was a losing draw.

They managed it -- thanks to solid contributions from opener Scott McNeill (56, seven fours) and middle-order duo , Jarrod Coombe (47, seven fours) and Dominic Harvey (47, ten fours).

Indeed they pieced together two productive partnerships as McNeill shared 61 for the third wicket with Martin Weightman (21) and Coombe and Harvey shared 75 for the fifth wicket, which killed Rolls’s last hope of outright victory. But by the end, there was no doubt who were the superior side.