Kitt, Sidhu and Barker dazzle at The Strand against NPL title chasers!Arjun Sandhu
After an awesome victory last weekend at Papplewick and Linby, the aim was to build on this result and secure NPL cricket next season.
Captain Allcoat won the toss and put the away side, Cavaliers & Carrington, into bat in front of many supporters at The Strand. Things started off well with Barker picking up the prized wicket of Shafayat with the score only at 13. Harvey who was bowling from the other end was very unlucky to pick up a wicket in his first spell.
Unfortunately, the opposition’s #3 batsman was forced to retire as he picked up an injury and this led to Thakor entering the crease who alongside Shafayat are in the top 3 of the NPL batting stats this season. The Squirrels continued to pick up wickets by containing and building pressure.
Spin twins Perera (12-0-53-3) and Simkiss (9-0-54-3) did majority of the damage picking up 6 of the 9 wickets as the opposition’s platform to progress and secure full batting points was halted.
Thakor was dismissed for 70 by Perera as the away side were with one wicket left and 180 on the board. Harvey came back onto bowl and took the final wicket ending up with respectable figures again (9.4-2-22-1). A marvellous team effort to restrict the title chasers with some great fielding on display especially from Murray behind the stumps (1 catch, 2 stumpings), Barker and Heiden in the deep.
Full bowling points achieved and after tea, would the Squirrels chase down 191 in front of the amazing supporters?…
Unfortunately, the first ball of the second innings resulted in a wicket and Perera was at the crease in no time with Sidhu at the other end. Both of these batsmen have impressed on numerous occasions this season and they needed to rebuild or the opposition would use their experience to gain the initiative. A partnership of 52 between the two was a positive start however Perera had to depart as he was trapped lbw for 16. 2 more wickets fell as the home side were under pressure at 87 for 4 even though Sidhu who didn’t look troubled was building on the team’s total by scoring runs against a top bowling attack.
Kitt joined Sidhu at the crease and a small partnership of 25 between the two resulted in opener Sidhu being finally dismissed for a exceptional 46 from 92 balls (2 fours, 2 sixes).
Murray joined Kitt in the middle and the positive mindset was still evident. Kitt was stroking the ball very nicely and Murray hit some lusty blows (30 from 39 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) as the away side were getting exposed by a well measured counter-attack.
A wonderful 67 run partnership came to an end as both batsmen fell in successive deliveries. Kitt’s run-a-ball 48 (8 fours) was a superb knock and he showed great character under high levels of pressure.
However, Cavaliers & Carrington were right back in the game with the Squirrels still confident at 179 for 7, only needing 13 runs to win. The away side continued to graft and their hard work paid off.
2 more wickets fell as #11 Barker joined Harvey at the crease with the home side stuck at 187 with still 5 more runs needed. The opposition had their tails up and were poised to snatch victory which would have aided their title push but Barker had other plans…
Barker alongside Harvey pulled through to score the final 5 runs and win the game! This pair displayed outstanding levels of determination and mental strength. In addition, not only did Barker face 13 balls at the end but he scored an invaluable score of 5* including the winning runs with a well-controlled dab down to a vacant third man.
It was so tense at The Strand and even though the team worked so hard to achieve a positive result, Harvey and Barker conquered at the end.
A 1 wicket victory against one of the top sides meant that there will be NPL cricket at The Strand yet again next season. A magnificent result and a fine team performance!
Allcoat leads the 1st team for one more time this Saturday in the final fixture of the season at The Strand against Wollaton. Be there to watch the team finish the season off in style as well as see the End of Season Fireworks Celebration after the game!