NLP title chase tightens

Tom Driver in bowling action for Cuckney against the West Indian Cavaliers, rues a missed opportunity.
Tom Driver in bowling action for Cuckney against the West Indian Cavaliers, rues a missed opportunity.

The race for the 2014 title got tighter on Saturday when Cuckney’s lead at the top of the table was cut to 15 points as the weather forced their home game with the West Indian Cavaliers to be cut short, giving each side 10 points.

Home skipper Will Butler called correctly at the toss and asked the Cavs to bat first, and he will have been pleased to restrict them to 178-8 in their 50 overs.

Only Usman Afzaal caught the eye with a patient innings of 40 with Butler (3-41) and Ian Parkin (3-21) leading the attack.

Rain showers throughout the day restricted the Cuckney innings to 45 overs and they closed on 156-6 with Adam Burgess carrying his bat for 56 not out.

Plumtree started the day 25 points behind Cuckney, but took full advantage of the leaders’ curtailed game by grabbing 20 points in a six-wicket win away at Kimberley.

The home side batted first and posted 224-6 with Dominic Brown starring with 68 and 37 from 16-year-old Alex Aldred with a pair of wickets apiece for Glen Read and Graeme White.

Despite intermittent showers, the visitors recorded their eighth win of the season as David Bedingham, hitting his second NPL ton of the season, saw them home with an unbeaten 103 from 99 balls.

The stand-out game at the other end of the table saw the bottom two sides meet as Mansfield Hosiery Mills travelled to Ordsall. The home side were one point behind the Millers before the game and were in trouble as they fell to 0-2.

Sufian Munir led the recovery with a defiant 63 from 60 balls and Ordsall ended on 254-8 with Martyn Long contributing 53 and Aqab Ahmed 52 not out. There were two wickets each for Matt Wright, Kyle Garside and Matt New.

The Mansfield side also started slowly but hung on for a draw with their total of 215-8.

Tom New again starred with 98 and Ahmed grabbed 3-49 and Tim Miles 3-68. This result moved Ordsall into 11th spot, eight points ahead of Hosiery Mills.

Notts Academy’s recent excellent form continued as they secured their seventh win of the season and moved into third place with a 14-run victory at Lady Bay over Welbeck Colliery.

The home side must have thought a win was a long way off when they fell to 89-7 but they recovered to close on 169-8, thanks mainly to 65 not out from Dan Freeman.

Welbeck’s reply was well on track at 102-4 with Richard Stroh (62) and Jake Ball (33) putting on 53 for the fifth wicket, but the Academy side chipped in with regular wickets and the visitors were dismissed for 155 in 32.2 overs with Ben Kitt taking 4-35.

Radcliffe all but secured their place in the 2015 NPL with a four-wicket win away at Caythorpe.

The home side struck 220-6 with Steve Allcoat (44) and James Hawley (39) putting on 78 for the first wicket before they were both dismissed by 16-year-old off-spinner Jacob Deavin Baker, who finished with figures of 3-70.

Josh Mierkalns has been a good acquisition for Radcliffe this year and he saw the visitors home in 46 overs with an unbeaten 124 at the top of the order.

Clifton travelled to Derby to take on Rolls Royce and came back down the A52 with 20 points after securing a 47 run victory.

Clifton batted first and smashed 296-9 with Martin Weightman hitting exactly 100 not out from 107 balls, supported by Caleb Mierkalns (54) and Richard Harris (50), Hasnain Nasir leading the Rolls attack with 3-67.

The home side could only manage 249, despite 108 from Dan Birch and 55 from Shaun Levy at the top of the order, Weightman rounding off an outstanding personal performance with 5-83.