When celebrated manager John Birch signed Adam Shepherd for ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE at the start of the season, he described him as “the fastest bowler in the Notts Premier League (NPL)”.
Now the 21-year-old Shepherd has gone some way towards proving Birch right with a matchwinning blitzkrieg last Saturday to keep Rolls top of the table.
Shepherd, who represented England at under-15, under-16 and under-17 levels, has been snapped up by Rolls from NPL rivals Clifton Village after a spell with the Notts CCC Academy.
He’s been coached by Birch from a young age and underlined his credentials with figures of seven for 23 from 15 superb overs to destroy Plumtree.
The home team had no answer to Shepherd, who clean bowled the first three in Plumtree’s order, Sam Storey, Ben Milnes and young South African David Bedingham.
As he continued to wreak havoc, his other four victims included star batsman Matthew Wood, home captain Ben Thompson and former Papplewick and Linby spinner Wasim Rana.
Shepherd received support from Tom Lungley (two for 18 in eight overs) and Notts CCC veteran Ben Phillips (one for 21 in 9.3 overs).
And as Plumtree toiled, only one of their batsmen managed double figures -- Bedingham with 14 (three fours). The last wicket fell in the 33rd over.
Needing only 65 for victory, Rolls’s reply was a formality, despite losing out-of-touch skipper Dan Birch, who was bowled by Matt Milnes for six.
Young wicketkeeper Adeel Shafique and Wasim Karim guided the locals safely to their target by the 22nd over with unbeaten knocks of 27 apiece. Shafique found the boundary ropes five times, while Wasim whacked one six and two fours.
The rout extended the unbeaten Rollers’ lead in the table because their closest rivals, West Indian Cavaliers, suffered another surprise defeat -- this time at Caythorpe.
Birch’s team entertain Cavaliers themselves this coming weekend when victory could mean their main challengers in the title race will be defending champions Cuckney, who have also yet to be beaten this term and are up to second.