Relieved Hucknall survive batting scare to bag first win of season

THE WRIGHT STUFF -- Jake Wright in action as a bowler. But it was with the bat that he rescued Hucknall and steered them to their first win of the season.
THE WRIGHT STUFF -- Jake Wright in action as a bowler. But it was with the bat that he rescued Hucknall and steered them to their first win of the season.

Captain Robin Maxwell proved he can bowl, as well as bat, when inspiring relieved HUCKNALL to their first victory of the new Gunn And Moore South Notts League, Division A season.

But they didn’t get there without overcoming an almighty scare. For after Maxwell’s return of 6-45 from 12 overs had helped to shoot out Thurgarton for just 140, Hucknall plummetted to 44-6 in reply.

The top order disintegrated against the bowling of Matt Brown (4-40 in nine overs) and ex-Leicestershire all-rounder Sam Cliff (2-37 in ten) with not one of Tim Buckthorpe, Dale Campbell, Maxwell himself, Scott Harris, Lee Smith and Richard Greatorex mustering double figures.

A shock defeat against a newly-promoted home side sitting bottom of the table looked on the cards. Until two unlikely heroes emerged in tenacious all-rounder Jake Wright and new signing Suhail Ahmed.

Wright (55 not out, one six and eight fours) and Suhail (35 not out, four fours) showed their supposed betters how to bat properly, folowing on from their promising stand the previous week.

A brilliant 97-run partnership lifted Hucknall home, with man-of-the-match Wright firing his first half-century (off 63 balls) since 2013. A helpful dollop of 35 extras, including 26 wides, also helped the cause.

Maxwell’s exploits with the ball, as first-change bowler, were very timely because Thurgarton had eased to 88-1 after winning the toss. Opener Colin Cliff, who made 50 (ten fours), shared stands of 48 with Josh Downie (24, four fours) and then 40 with James Taylor (18).

The Hucknall skipper bowled Cliff and then ripped through the home team’s middle order, quickly reducing them to 107-7 from which there was no way back. Dane Straw (3-45 in 12 overs) mopped up the tail.