Papplewick back in title frame with five to play

NELSON'S COLUMN --  the column in the batting averages under the heading 'Mark Nelson' is looking healthy again
NELSON'S COLUMN -- the column in the batting averages under the heading 'Mark Nelson' is looking healthy again
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Entertaining half-centuries from reliable duo Mark Nelson and Ross Fitz-John fired PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY back into the Bassetlaw League’s Championship promotion race.

Papplewick were fully expected to dispose of bottom-of-the-table visitors Caythorpe 2nd, who had won only two of their 16 matches.

However, it was crucial that they wiped out the memory of the previous week’s blip, so the resounding nature of their six-wicket success should stand them in good stead for the final five games of the campaign.

They sit fourth in the table and although only one team goes up to the Notts Premier League, they are just 29 points behind leaders Farnsfield, whom they play at home on Saturday 30th August.

Nelson and Fitz-John were in imperious form as Papplewick made mincemeat of a target of 175 against Caythorpe.

The left-hander thumped 75 from only 67 balls, smacking 14 boundaries and sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 82 with Fitz-John.

The New Zealander stroked nine fours in his 46-ball knock and reached his 50 with the winning runs in the 31st over of Papplewick’s reply.

Earlier, opener Adam Rostance had also made 22, but Sri Lankan import Kosala Kulasekara fell for a duck as he became one of three victims for the visitors’ best bowler, Geoff Croook (three for 49 in nine overs).

On his second start of the summer, Kulasekara had also taken the new ball at the start of the match, returning figures of one for 23 from eight overs. But he was upstaged by Papplewick’s three change-bowlers as Caythorpe slid from 118 for four to 174 all out.

First, Richard Hodgkinson bagged two for 53 in ten overs. Next, skipper Jim Rhodes weighed in with three for 36 in a fine 15-over spell. And finally, young prospect Charlie Blatherwick underlined his potential again with four for 26 in only six overs at the death.

Three of Blatherwick’s scalps were rabbits, but he did also remove captain and top scorer Andrew Staszkiewicz, whose 52 (six fours) followed an opening stand of 40 between Oliver Clarke (26, three fours) and Matt Staskiewicz (21, four fours).