Afzaal and Co leave Papplewick on ropes

ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS -- big-hitting all-rounder Ben Phillips, who fired a century on his Rolls debut.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS -- big-hitting all-rounder Ben Phillips, who fired a century on his Rolls debut.

Worried PAPPLEWICK AND LINBY are badly in need of a pick-me-up after suffering another defeat in their second match of the new Notts Premier League season.

New-look Papplewick were thumped by seven wickets by multiple former champions, West Indian Cavaliers, whose side included three former Notts CCC players in Usman Afzaal, Bilal Shafayat and Akhil Patel.

It followed two reverses on the opening weekend of the season. Now they could do with getting off the mark against Caythorpe tomorrow (Saturday) before their first local derby against buoyant Rolls-Royce Leisure the following week.

Still without their new captain, former New Zealand Test and one-day international star Lou Vincent, Papplewick were put into bat by home side Cavaliers.

Well-regarded openers Mark Nelson (28, one six and fours) and Alex Lloyd (16) got off to a solid start and their first-wicket partnership of 52 against Cavs’ new-ball attack of Shahzada Khan and Ricaldo Anderson showed few signs of what was to come.

But the game changed once first-change bowler Jason Elliot had been introduced to the home side’s attack.

Elliot (four for 22 in eight overs) had Lloyd caught by Aaron Thomas before bowling Nelson only nine runs later. And then he removed two of Papplewick’s new signings, Norman Brackley, and Doug Morton, to reduce the locals on 74 for four.

Papplewick briefly threatened a comeback when wicketkeeper Graeme Roberts (24, three fours) bossed a fifth-wicket stand of 32 with another fresh recruit, Jack McIver.

But when Roberts was run out, the innings was hurried quickly towards its climax by Afzaal and Shafayat, who deployed their occasional spin to pocket a couple of wickets apiece.

The 35-year-old Afzaal, who has played three Tests for England, then opened Cavs’ batting, smacking a quickfire 23, including three sixes, before he too was run out.

But his departure merely paved the way for an enterprising second-wicket stand of 80 between Patel (55, two sixes and seven fours), who is the younger brother of current Notts and England star Samit Patel, and Aaron Thomas (16) that lifted the home team to the brink of victory.

As Papplewick tried seven bowlers in a bid to break through, both Patel and Thomas were eventually removed by 20-year-old off-spinner McIver (two for 16 in four overs). But Cavaliers eased to their target by the end of the 26th over.