Rain halts trophy final

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Alfreton 152-9 v Matlock 68-5 - match abandoned

MATLOCK and Alfreton will attempt to settle the destination of the Marston’s Smooth Trophy on Sunday, for the second time of asking.

Bank Holiday Monday’s initial game had to be abandoned at a crucial stage due to the weather.

This well supported and prepared match ended as a very damp squib. Despite the rain falling in adjacent parts of the county, Quardon’s ground remained damp rather than wet, enabling Matlock to invite Alfreton to bat.

The quick and aggressive Pete Camm (3-26) and very accurate Ed Lander made early batting difficult and runs did not come easy with only Gwatkin (47) and later Bhatti (a very hard hitting 30) the main contributors to a modest 152 all out. However, was this was a product of the batting conditions or the bowling of Matlock’s Camm, Lander, John Aspinall, Chris Fletcher and Devon Conway?

Matlock’s opening batsmen got off to a good start, reaching 31 before Matt Cluer fell to fatal run out call, the cause of which was long debated. Matlock’s hopes were high as the DCCL leading batsman Devon Conway came out to face the league’s leading wicket taker Bhatti, a battle of the overseas professionals. Conway started well but mistimed a drive to be caught out.

Throughout the game, the wicket had a tendency to provide a lively and perhaps unpredictable bounce and this contributed to opener Kev Leatherday’s demise as he was bowled by Bhatti, who bowled extremely quickly, his pace defeating both batsmen and wicketkeeper.

Batsmen were playing late and surprisingly, when Bhatti was taken out of the attack, wickets beginning to fall, Matlock losing both Aspinall and Fletcher. Mark Burton was just settling in and Mark Stokes coming in to bat when the game, which had been played in light rain, was called off as the rain became a deluge with the game delicately poised with a Matlock score at 68-5 with 32 overs left.

Now it all has to be done again on Sunday, same start time, same place, hopefully different weather and a result at the end of it.