A rare defeat as Matlock miss out

Steve Pell
Steve Pell
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Matlock 1st XI 160 all out lost to Elvaston 1st XI 164-2 by eight wickets

Delightful Elvaston Park was the venue for Matlock’s game on Saturday and, in near-perfect conditions, it was a pity that the Matlock performance did not do justice to the surroundings.

From the moment that they lost the toss and were invited to bat, they were second best in all departments of the game.

The first three wickets fell before the score had reached 57, all taken by Naeem Akhtar and with Kevin Leatherday unable to bat in the top five because of an injury sustained in the pre-match warm up, it needed something of a miracle to turn the game in Matlock’s favour.

At this point, much depended on the ever-reliable Devon Conway, who was batting with great aplomb but even ‘Conway the destroyer’ was to perish when he pulled a fierce shot into the grateful hands of Nick Briers at square leg, having scored another brilliant 55.

Much was then left to skipper Steve Pell to control what was left of the innings and, in so doing, use up as many of the remaining overs as possible.

Pell, batting at number nine, was excellent as he scored a valuable 38 not out and showed all his old qualities when he batted much higher in the order.

His perseverance enabled Matlock to reach an all out score of 160.

For the home side, Naeem Akhtar took 4-27, supported by Simon Lillie with 3-62.

It was hoped that the home side would be put under extreme pressure if they were to win this game, but what should have been a torrid time was nothing more than a stroll in the park for them.

Despite losing opener Levenburger for 24, Nick Briers (61) and Tom Cosford (58 not out) had little trouble in steering their team to a very comfortable eight-wicket victory over the league leaders.

Devon Conway and Peter Camm, with a wicket apiece, were the two successful bowlers.

Although this may just have been simply a “bad day at the office”, it was this display that was not one that promotion hopes were built on and it is hoped Matlock will put this behind them and return to the recent form that has taken them clear at the top of Division One of the County League.

This week, Cutthorpe are the visitors to Causeway Lane for a game starting at 1pm.