Trouble at Mills for Rolls -- despite T20-type blast

IN A SPIN -- Rolls bowler Matt Roberts tries to put the brakes on the Mansfield Hosiery Mills batsmen.
IN A SPIN -- Rolls bowler Matt Roberts tries to put the brakes on the Mansfield Hosiery Mills batsmen.

Explosive batting, aimed at rushing ROLLS-ROYCE LEISURE to the winning post before the rain came down, was cut short in its prime in the Notts Premier League (NPL) on Bank Holiday Monday.

Set a target of 234 by home side Mansfield Hosiery Mills, Rolls went into Twenty20 mode as the dark clouds threatened above.

And they whacked a remarkable 118 runs in only nine overs in a bid to pull off a quickfire victory or, at least, one or two batting bonus points.

However their bravery came to nothing because another spell of rain brought proceedings to a halt and the match was abandoned.

After a blank Saturday when they had their games cancelled without a ball being bowled, both sides were keen to enjoy some cricket on another damp and dull day.

Title-chasing Rolls put Hosiery Mills into bat, but although they picked up four bonus points, a weakened bowling attack failed to make the decision count.

The home side might sit bottom of the NPL table, but only because of a pre-season 50-point deduction, which they agreed to amid the much-publicised furore over an illegal payment to a player last summer.

After losing openers Matt New and Gareth Curtis cheaply, Hosiery Mills batted soundly -- thanks chiefly to number three Tom New, who stroked a polished 84, including two sixes and 11 fours.

Captain New shared important partnerships of 63 with Robert Townsend (23) and 59 with Sri Lankan veteran Keshara Jayasinghe (20, four fours) before he was caught off Hasnain Nasir.

At 175 for seven, Hosiery Mills’s innings looked like petering out -- only for tailender Matt Wright to provide a sting in the tail, hammering 46 (three sixes and six fours).

Both New and Wright did eventually fall to Hasnain Nasir. But his five overs cost a massive 64 runs, and the best Rolls bowler was unquestionably Tom Lungley.

Taking the new ball, Lungley took two for 15 in 15 overs, eight of which were maidens.

In the absence, though, of Atif Sheikh and Adam Shepherd, Rolls had to turn to spinner Matt Roberts (one for 41 in 15 overs) to share the bowling burden. After that, they struggled as five change-bowlers leaked a total of 169 runs in 16.2 overs.

Roberts also opened Rolls’s reply with the bat and helped launch the remarkable onslaught with 28 (two sixes and three fours) from just 12 balls.

At the sharp end, however, was new signing Gurpej Landa, who lashed 51 (five sixes and three fours) from only 22 balls.

Nasir then hit an unbeaten 24 (three sixes) from eight balls as the home side’s main striker bowler, Curtis, was dispatched for 75 runs in five overs