Top sides clash - Weekend Notts Premier League cricket preview

cricket. Papplewick v Mansfield Hosiery Mills. Papplewick are bowling.

cricket. Papplewick v Mansfield Hosiery Mills. Papplewick are bowling.

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The stand-out fixture from this weekend’s roster sees leaders Cuckney welcome fourth-placed Caythorpe to Langwith Road.

The visitors are building a solid season with four wins from their nine games, including wins over two sides ahead of them in the league, West Indian Cavaliers and last Saturday over Rolls Royce. That game was centred around performances from four of their most experienced performers with runs for Darren Bicknell and Steve Allcoat and three wickets each for Tim Haines and Jim Hindson. Cuckney have actually won one fewer game than their opponents but are 45 points ahead thanks to having secured five winnings draws, and perversely, four of those winning draws have come against the bottom four clubs.

Will Root is the league’s leading run scorer with 407 runs from 7 innings and is one of three Cuckney batters in the top 10; Richard Stroh is their only bowler in top 10 which demonstrates which is their stronger suit.

Second placed Rolls Royce will want to bounce back from that defeat to Caythorpe, but their hosts this weekend, Mansfield Hosiery Mills, may have other plans.

The Millers have won four of their last six games and have one of the best batting units with Tom New, Gareth Curtis and Sudesh Fernando all having passed 300 runs for the season.

Matt Wright has shouldered most of the effort with the ball, having taken 21 wickets at an average of less than 20 runs each.

Rolls lost their unbeaten record with that defeat last week and Dan Birch is struggling for form but is too good a player not to bounce back.

Tom Lungley is performing well with the bat and Adam Shepherd leads the wicket taking stats for the whole league with 27 wickets at less than 15.

A key clash at the bottom sees bottom team Papplewick host Welbeck, four places but 27 points ahead of them.

Welbeck’s form is variable to say the least with a win, a draw and a loss in their last three games, but they do have some key players in good form.

Martyn Dobson has scored 354 runs this season at an average of more than 50 and Rob French took 4-57 in last weekend’s draw with Farnsfield.

They will hope to have Jake Ball available, as he is unlikely to be involved in the county championship game against Sussex starting on Saturday at Trent Bridge.

Papplewick’s season has been far more consistent but in a negative way as they have lost six of their nine games; they will be getting support later in the summer from Mal Loye and Philip DeFreitas but they need to start winning soon.

Alex Lloyd is doing his best to keep his side in the league having scored three 50s in his total of 325 league runs.

Plumtree got back to winning ways last week with a home win against Kimberley and they will want to continue that form as they travel to Clifton, a side who inflicted a win and a winning draw on them last season.

The visitors welcome back skipper Ben Thompson and Ben Milnes but Bobby Gamble will be missing for the remainder of the season as he tries his luck in Irish club cricket - another youngster is stepping into his shoes; 17-year-old Ed Hodgson, played a starring role in the win last week with figures of 4-18 and retains his place.

Clifton lost a three game winning streak last weekend when they went down by six wickets to the Academy, but Jarrod Coombe and Scott McNeil have been scoring well, although McNeill will soon be missing cricket to pursue his second sporting passion as a line judge at Wimbledon.

The Academy will hope to secure their third successive win as they travel to the equal bottom side Farnsfield who are likely to be without their skipper Paul Franks.

The home side halted a three-match losing streak last weekend when they hung on for a draw at Welbeck when eight wickets down.

Stand-in skipper Curtis Mitchell did his bit to secure the draw points with a gritty innings of 33 in support of Matthew Sisson’s 34.

The Academy have won their last two including a comprehensive six-wicket win over Clifton where Hassan Azad (42 not out) saw them home after Luke Wood and Adam Tillcock each took three wickets.

The final game takes place at the 2BM ground when Kimberley welcome the West Indian Cavaliers; the home side have lost their last three and would not have chosen to face the Cavaliers to try and halt that sequence.

They have a talented top five and whilst each has individually performed on occasions this year, they have rarely fired together as a batting unit.

They did fire two weeks ago against the Academy when they scored 252, but their bowlers could not defend the total that day with opener Atif Sheikh going at more than six an over against the county side.

The Cavaliers will want to avenge a drubbing at this ground last year when they were skittled for just 63, a total that not even Test veterans Alex Tudor and Saqlain Mushtaq could not defend.