Papplewick’s winning run halted on Sri Lankan star’s debut

DEBUT TO FORGET  - -     Sri Lankan all-rounder Kosala Kulasekara, who has returned to Papplewick and Linby for the finale to the season.

DEBUT TO FORGET - - Sri Lankan all-rounder Kosala Kulasekara, who has returned to Papplewick and Linby for the finale to the season.

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If PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY thought the long-awaited arrival of Sri Lankan all-rounder Kosala Kulasekara would be the final piece in their promotion jigsaw, they were given a rude and unexpected awakening.

For although Kulasekara finally made his debut in his second spell with the club, Papplewick’s terrific run of five successive wins came to an abrupt end.

The wins had lifted them to the heels of the leaders in the Bassetlaw League’s Championship, and with every chance of an immediate return to the Notts Premier League.

However, it all went wrong away to North Wheatley with Leverton, who condemned the locals to 123-run defeat.

Now Papplewick sit fourth in the table, 37 points behind leaders Clipstone Welfare with six matches to play -- against Caythorpe 2nd, Notts and Arnold Amateurs, Thoresby Colliery, Farnsfield, Worksop and Killamarsh Juniors..

The 28-year-old Kulasekara, whose arrival had been delayed by visa problems, marked his first appearance by taking two wickets with the new ball and scoring 11 with the bat, going in at number three.

But North Wheatley held most of the aces, particularly bowler Callum Harrison, whose return of five for 24 from ten overs initiated a Papplewick collapse to 75 all out in 33 overs.

Harrison was backed by Jamie Sizer (three for 19 in nine overs) and Jamie Bovill (two for five in eight overs), with Tom Bowers (15) and Gareth Blinkhorn (13) the only visiting batsmen, apart from Kulasekara, to reach double figures.

Earlier, North Wheatley had not found batting easy either -- but they grafted to dig out a respectable total of 198 for nine.

Opener Jonny Loates led the way with a patient 40 (eight fours) from 77 balls, and Matthew Loates (33, one six and four fours) followed his example in a stand of 57 between the pair.

When the tempo needed to be raised, Sizer was the man to do it, thumping 49, including four sixes ans three fours, from just 30 balls.

The home side would have topped 200 bur for late gains by Papplewick skipper Jim Rhodes, who took four for 69 in 15 overs.

The other wickets to fall were shared by youngsters Sam Stewart (two for ten in seven overs) and Charlie Blatherwick (one for 34 in seven), who enjoyed their taste of first-team action.