Matlock too good for the bottom side

Matlock's John Aspinall finds the gaps on his way to an unbeaten 75 in their match against Elvaston.
Matlock's John Aspinall finds the gaps on his way to an unbeaten 75 in their match against Elvaston.

Matlock (27pts) 225-8 beat Rolleston (6pts) 168 all out by 57 runs

Winning the toss and batting first against Derbyshire County League Division One bottom club Rolleston enabled Matlock 1sts to set a target of gaining the maximum 27 points.

Fielding a strong side which could bat to number 11 and including eight bowlers, a par score of 220 was anticipated as necessary for the purpose on a benign Matlock wicket.

Following one or two early scares, Kev Leatherday and Chris Fletcher built a firm foundation against accurate use of the new ball by Fried and Britton, the first wicket being that of Leatherday (30), which fell at 59.

In trying to accelerate the scoring rate, Burton de Wett hit two consecutive sixes in a brief innings.

The loss of Fletcher (34) was a setback but John Aspinall steadied the ship with a cool 39 when partnered by Keshwala (23), and Peter Camm muscled in with an explosive 40 to hurry the score to 203-7.

Ed Lowe, Steve Pell, and Nick Rosling added 22 quick runs to finish the 50 overs at 225-8, just exceeding the anticipated target.

The Rolleston reply suffered an early casualty when Marshall fell victim to Camm but Ford (26) and James (17) took the score to 53 at a superior run rate to that of the early Matlock innings until James became keeper Andy Rogers’s second victim, this time off Eddie Lander (1-22), a rate to be maintained by Rutter (19) and the now-entrenched Allen.

When spin bowler De Wett (3-49) put the brake on things by trapping both Brown and Britton lbw, it fell on Allen (48no) to try to save the game for Rolleston but he ran out of partners, losing two to Camm (3-47) and the last two to Lowe (2-7). Rolleston were all out for 168 and the 27 points had been achieved.

This Saturday, Matlock face the bigger challenge when they visit Denby, the runaway league leaders

Swarkestone 87-0 [13.3 overs] (L Thomas 58*) beat Matlock 86 all out [17.1 overs] (A Evans 3-17) by ten wickets

On Sunday, the anticipation of the County T20 Finals was replicated TV-style at the high profile Derbyshire Cricket Ground but it all ended in an anti-climax when Matlock lost in the first semi-final of the day by ten wickets.

Put into bat against a powerful Swarkestone side captained by Derbyshire contract player Tom Poynton, Matlock were put on the back foot, having lost the experienced Leatherday and Aspinall with only 21 runs on the board.

Once the wicket of Keshwala (14) had been taken, there was a steady procession of batsmen from the dug out. Only wicketkeeper Andy Rogers (17) and Steve Pell (14no) managed double figure resistance. The innings closed at 86 all out with 2.5 overs remaining.

The Matlock attack that pitted their wits against Swarkestone’s opening batsmen Guthrie and Thomas lacked none of their usual venom but failed to make that essential early penetration. Taking the pace off the ball slowed the run rate down but, despite the use of five bowlers, the winning total of 87 appeared on the twin electronic scoreboards with no loss of wicket in 13.3 overs. Guthrie scored 21no and Thomas 58no. Game over.

The second semi-final resulted in a win by Sawley and Long Eaton (164-5) over Denby (157-8) by seven runs.

The final, played in the evening under floodlights, ended in Sawley and Long Eaton (79-9) being crushed by eventual trophy winners Swarkestone (80-2), losing by eight wickets in only 11 overs.

The Swarkestone/Matlock story is not yet complete. The teams meet twice in August, once at Swarkestone in the league and later in the final of the prestigious Marston’s Smooth Trophy on Bank Holiday Monday at Denby CC.

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