Improving Matlock are too good for Alfreton

Matlock skipper Ed Lander bowls against Alfreton on Saturday in a game his side won comfortably by eight wickets.
Matlock skipper Ed Lander bowls against Alfreton on Saturday in a game his side won comfortably by eight wickets.

Matlock’s upturn in form continued with a victory against Alfreton on Saturday.

With heavy rain all week it was doubtful as to whether the pitch would be fit, but after a long delay and with Alfreton eager to start, a 32 over game got under way at 3pm.

Ed Lander won what looked a very important toss and put Alfreton into bat on a damp wicket.

It didn’t take long before Lander (2-26) and Chris Pemberton (1-32) took full advantage as Woolley, overseas Waterfall and the dangerous Mace were all removed with little contribution.

Ex-Matlock man Mark Stokes dug in with a valuable 39 but Drew Mullaney bowled impressively and finished on 4-26. David Lander, after a loose start, also contributed with 3-39.

Matlock had clung on to every opportunity and used the wicket to their advantage as Alfreton were 115 all out after just 27 overs.

Matlock would have 37 overs to chase down the relatively small total but were well aware how dangerous the pitch was, especially considering several weak batting displays in previous games.

Jonathan Ford lost his wicket early which brought Ed Lowe to the crease. Lowe, who looked particularly determined, saw off the new ball along with Mark Burton who has had a fine start to the season.

The runs were not flowing too freely but the pair had taken the edge off the Alfreton attack as the pitch began to dry out and the new ball lost its effect.

It wasn’t until Matlock had reached 74 that Burton (36) had a momentary lapse and holed out at long on after an otherwise chanceless innings.

The start Burton and Lowe had given Matlock enabled Rob Lowe to come in and bat freely. As Alfreton heads dropped, Rob Lowe took full advantage of some short deliveries with several sixes, including one from Ed Lowe (45) to seal the victory.

This weekend Matlock travel to another side relegated from the Premier League last season, Marehay.