Matlock’s safety almost secured in double-header

Matlock all but secured their spot in Division One next season despite not managing to win either of their two games at the weekend.

The first was Saturday’s trip away to Rolleston, where Matlock were put into bat having lost the toss.

Kevin Leatherday and Mark Burton opened the batting but struggled with the movement found hosts’ bowling attack. With only six runs between them both fell early bringing Harvey Hosein to the crease.

Hosein managed a few boundaries before he also succumbed to the moving ball and edged a sharp chance to slip for 14.

Steve Pell came in and began to build his score and took the side to drinks at 70-3.

Matlock then looked to push on but this saw Pell (30) trapped LBW and then Ed Lander (4) run out. Ed Lowe (15) was well supported by Dave Lander (18) but Matlock’s innings closed on 121.

Ed Lander (1-29) and Chris Pemberton (1-28) bowled well early on in reply and had Rolleston’s batsmen in trouble.

Lowe also claimed a well deserved wicket, but the score was never going to be enough and Rolleston comfortably reached the total, despite taking almost 40 overs, with just four wickets on the board.

Against Elvaston at Causeway Lane on Sunday, Matlock won the toss and put the visitors into bat and made the breakthrough though when Matthew Gawthrop edged one through to Hosein off Ed Lander.

Elvaston began to rebuild and reached 42 before Briars tried to force one through the leg side but only managed to loft the ball to Drayner. Lawley then fell LBW to Lander (4-44) as the game began to swing in Matlock’s favour.

But Naeem Akhtar reached 70 and helped by several cameos from Elvaston’s lower order the visitors closed on 222-8.

Leatherday and Burton opened and built a strong platform taking Matlock to 89 before Burton (36) was undone by the slow wicket and lifted one in to the infield, followed by Leatherday (55) who did the same.

Hosein and Lowe pushed Matlock nearer the total, Hosein eventually out and leaving the lower order to see the game home.

Eventually Matlock needed just 14 off 12 balls but three overs from the end Akhtar broke through with three wickets and left Matlock to consolidate and see out the draw, Lowe finishing on 55.