Young Springbok makes headlines

THE HEADLINE-writers were poised to welcome the arrival of former England Test star Phil DeFreitas to the Notts Premier League (NPL) as Papplewick and Linby's star player.

Friday, 28th April 2006, 11:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd May 2006, 3:58 pm

But with 'Daffy' out in Bermuda playing for the England over-35s in the 20-20 Masters, it was visiting Mansfield Hosiery Mills number three bat, 21-year-old South African Francois du Plessis, who stole the limelight with a century.

Papplewick, the Dispatch district's top side, have high hopes for this season, and started off well as they won the toss and asked Mansfield to bat first.

They had the visitors wobbling early on as Khan (two wickets for 69 from 14 overs) removed opener Langford for a duck.

But that brought du Plessis to the crease and he proceeded to unleash an exhibition in hitting that inspired his side's five-an-over total.

Sharing a stand of 168 for the second wicket with Musgrove (59, seven fours), the Springbok blasted his century off just 112 deliveries and racked up 11 fours and six sixes along the way.

By the time he was removed by Jim Rhodes (two for 50 from 13 overs), everyone in the crowd was sharing the opinion of Mansfield secretary that du Plessis is "one of the best players I've seen".

A dejected Papplewick bowling line-up did pull things back towards the end as they stalled Mansfield's progress, reducing them from 217 for two to 227 for six in the closing overs.

But there was disappointment for Notts CCC speedster Mark Footitt (one for 52 from 11 overs), who was expensive, Ian Hardy (no wickets for 50 from nine) and Robin Rhodes (none for 27 from three).

In reply the locals got off to a steady start with opener Gary Porter (25, one six and one four) setting a good foundation.

But three wickets for one run as Porter and Richard Arberry fell to Johnson (two for 13 from ten) and Simon Roberts fell for a duck to Jenkinson (one for 20 from nine) to put an end to any hopes of mounting a challenge for the win.

Instead they had to drop anchor and look for the losing draw as Gareth Wheeldon, promoted to the first team, stayed strong to finish a long innings 24 not out (three fours).

There was also an important knock of 22 from Khan.