ROLLS-Royce Leisure inched closer to promotion to the Notts Premier League after a 19-run victory over fourth-placed Balderton.
The victory sets Rolls up for this Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash at second-placed Radcliffe, where victory will see them crowned Gunn and Moore South Notts League, Division A champions.
Batting first against Balderton, Rolls got off to a slow start with opener Wasim Karim caught by David Makey off the bowling of Luke Endley.
And when Matthew Roberts was bowled by Endley for five and Abdul Sultan went for a duck, again to Endley, the home side were in need of some impetus.
Arslan Butt provided some of it with an innings of 45, which included six fours before he was caught by Makey off John Esam.
However, two LBW decisions against Shaharyar Aslam and Arfan Khalid, both to Endley, threatened to leave Rolls-Royce with a very small total before Rahim Karim shored the innings up with a superb 101.
Karim’s century included 15 fours and one six.
Waheed Khan was bowled by Paul Colcomb for a duck but skipper Saleem Karim’s precious unbeaten 22 runs at the end of the innings was to prove vital.
Liaqat Ali was run out for just one and Navid Kanwal was the other not out batsman on nine as Rolls closed their innings on 219-9 from 50 overs.
For Balderton, Luke Endley was easily the top wicket-taker with six for 50 from 15 overs, which included three maidens.
The Balderton reply got off to a similarly unsteady start with opener Makey falling LBW to Saleem Karim.
The visitors also only had four players reach double figures with Steve Scott top-scoring with 51 before he became one of Liaqat Ali ‘s victims as he finished top wicket-taker for Rolls with six for 48 from 16 overs, three of which were maidens.
The other two wickets were claimed by Saleem Karim (three for 74 from 16 overs) and Shaharyar Aslam (one for 19 from 6.2) as Balderton were bowled out for 200 off 44.2 overs for another crucial Rolls win.