First defeat for Hucknall after fine start as rain wrecks game at West Bridgfordians

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Heavy rain and the Duckworth-Lewis method of deciding cricket outcomes conspired to send Hucknall tumbling to their first defeat of the Nottinghamshire Premier League season on Saturday.

Now they are looking to bounce straight back this weekend at home to Kimberley Institute.

Hucknall went down by 84 runs at newly-promoted West Bridgfordians - a first defeat of the summer after opening with two fine wins.

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Hucknall captain Sam Johnson said: “It was quite complicated. The rain put paid to any chance of what you would class as a normal fixture.

Hucknall's Ben Martindale - dug in for 41 on Saturday.Hucknall's Ben Martindale - dug in for 41 on Saturday.
Hucknall's Ben Martindale - dug in for 41 on Saturday.

“We tried to see what we could do and just fell short as conditions peaked and troughed as the day went on and favoured the opposition in key opportune moments more than us. They were just better than us in those areas on the day.

“Eventually it was smashing it down and the umpire just called it.

“As soon as 10 overs of the second innings have happened there is a result under Duckworth-Lewis rather than an abandonment. We had to be at a certain score and we were behind it by maybe 15-20 runs.

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“In hindsight, with the Duckworth-Lewis system we're playing with a format that professionals are very adept at but amateur cricketers probably aren't.

“A Duckworth-Lewis game is potentially very entertaining to watch in league cricket, but the players do not always know how best to manage it or approach it.”

Johnson added: “We back ourselves against anyone in the league. So I would like to think that in a 50-over game we could have performed better. But West Bridgfordians played the hand they were dealt better than we did.

“They also had a bit of luck, but they earned that luck and deserved the victory.

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“We had two great wins to start the season so it was a slight disappointment on Saturday.

“But a lot of the teams around us in the league were rained off so they only picked up two points on us. So I am not too disappointed in that sense.

“We have to focus inwardly and be better with bat, ball and in the field this weekend and moving forwards.”

On Saturday's opposition, he said: “It will be a really tough game. The key mantra in our changing room is that the next game is the most important one and that will be the case this Saturday.

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“Kimberley are a good side. They have maybe started a bit slowly but won their last completed game quite convincingly. They will be after us and we have to make sure we are ready to go.

“We have beaten them a few times in recent years so we know we can do it. We just have to get back to doing the basics really well and believing in ourselves. We will take the game to them and see how we go.”

On Saturday the home side made 194-5 in 35 overs after being put into bat.

Saad Naseem was their star with 81 not out, Alex Winiarski adding 26 and Sam King 23.

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Jake Wright, Dom Wheatley and Connor Ramm all claimed two wickets apiece.

Hucknall's revised total after rain was 200 from 35 overs but they could only reach 115-8 in 24.5 overs.

Opener Ben Martindale dug in for 41 and Nicol Loftie-Eaton contributed 27 while Nazeem ended with 3-36 off seven overs and Stuart Plant 3-16 off 4.5 overs.

Papplewick & Linby's strong start to the season was rocked by the rain as their trip to Wollaton was washed out without a ball being bowled while three other NPL games started but had to be abandoned.

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This Saturday they are due to host West Bridgfordians.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​