Test stars sparkle against Papplewick

SIX WICKETS -- former Pakistan player Saqlain Mushtaq, who is credited with creating the infamous 'doosra' delivery
SIX WICKETS -- former Pakistan player Saqlain Mushtaq, who is credited with creating the infamous 'doosra' delivery

NERVOUS Papplewick and Linby are anxiously looking over their shoulders after they were outclassed by a star-studded West Indian Cavaliers side in the Notts Premier League (NPL).

Papplewick have managed just two outright wins all season during 16 scheduled matches, many of which have been affected by one of the wettest seasons in living memory.

So, facing a relegation dogfight in a perilous fourth-from-bottom in the table, the last side they would have wanted to face would have been former champions West Indian Cavaliers.

Then throw into the mix that the home side could also call on former Pakistan spin star Saqlain Mushtaq, ex-England and Surrey batsman Usman Afzaal and ex-England Test player Alex Tudor.

The result was never in doubt as Papplewick’s batting line-up had no answer to the magic of Saqlain as he ripped through the middle and lower order after coming on as first change.

Papplewick lasted less than 40 overs, despite a dogged contribution from in-form skipper Matt Dowman, who hit 45 (one six and six fours) from a 79-ball stay at the crease.

Saqlain, who is best known for pioneering the ‘doosra’ delivery, took 208 test wickets in 49 matches for his country and was irresistible as he finished with six for 21 from 13.5 overs for Cavs.

Tudor, who once played for Surrey and also for England in The Ashes, was also in outstanding form with the ball, taking three wickets for just 14 runs from ten overs.

It left Cavaliers, who have been the worst-affected team by the weather this year with nine abandonments in their 16 matches, needing just 103 to win.

Cue Cavs skipper and ex-Surrey batsman Afzaal stroked 35 (three sixes and three fours) from 50 balls before he was bowled by Dane Straw (one for 22 from 3.5 overs).

Jim Rhodes did his best to defend the tiny total with two wickets for 31 from 14 consistent overs.

But there was little the Papplewick attack could do as they tasted defeat inside 31 overs and shipped 22 extras en route to a six-wicket reverse.