Matlock hold out to deny hosts Ilkeston the victory

Matlock appeal for a wicket after a delivery to Ilkeston batsman David Smit
Matlock appeal for a wicket after a delivery to Ilkeston batsman David Smit

Matlock recorded their seventh draw of the season on Saturday as hosts Ilkeston earned the majority of the points.

Given the weather forecast, Matlock were pleasantly surprised when they arrived at Ilkeston to find a relatively hard wicket and a break in the weather.

Despite moisture on the wicket which influenced Kevin Leatherday to choose to bowl upon winning the toss, Chris Pemberton and Ed Lander did not find much movement and struggled to threaten Ilkeston’s openers, including the formidable David Smit who looked to attack from the outset.

Matlock’s bowlers began to find their rhythm and restricted Ilkeston well before the threatening weather finally affected the game as play was stopped for around an hour, enough to make the match a time-game.

When play resumed Matlock expected Ilkeston to come out playing their shots, but Smit and Michael Chambers picked off singles before Smit(62) edged one through to Harvey Hosein off Lander.

This was the only wicket Matlock’s opening pair could pick up as both Pemberton and Lander completed their 15 over spells for little damage.

Leatherday then turned to Dave Lander who immediately had an impact, claiming the wicket of Chambers (35) and then proceeding to take wickets with consistent full and straight bowling.

He finished on 6-60, a career best in the first team, and helped limit the hosts to 195 when they eventually declared.

After the break Matlock would have 46 overs to chase down the total, and Ashley Drayner and Leatherday worked well before the latter mis-timed one straight back to the bowler for just 16.

Rob Lowe was struck in front soon after and given out LBW and Hosein chipped one to deep mid off with only 40 runs on the board.

The onus fell on stopping an Ilkeston victory and Steve Pell helped to see things out easily, accompanied by Andrew Roberts as they gave no chances to the home side.

Roberts was only out late on whilst trying to claim an extra batting point, Matlock eventually closing on 116.