Matlock Cricket Club continued their fine start to the season in Division Three of the Derbyshire County Cricket League on Saturday.
With the half way point of the 2018 campaign fast approaching, Matlock are challenging for honours in the division alongside Marehay who top the charts after nine games.
Saturday’s opponents Rolls Royce would be a tough challenge though with an experienced bowling attack and big hitting prowess that can devastate bowling attacks, but at the same time can flatter to deceive.
Lander, against all odds, lost the toss for a seventh consecutive week but this time Matlock were asked to bowl first. The pitch looked a good cricket wicket, a bit in it for Matlock’s bowling attack but definitely runs available as the hosts dug in.
Chris Pemberton and Ed Lander opened up and found good areas early on. The pair have bowled well this year but it was Pemberton that did the damage this week. He swung the ball and as he so frequently does, trapped opener Asher Alam for just nine.
But it was the wicket of Sahd Shafiq that really got Matlock’s tails up. He has scored close to 300 runs this year but couldn’t handle the shape Pemeberton generated as he was bowled for two.
Mohammad Wasim would provide the resistance for the hosts as he would go on to make a well grafted 81 off 32 overs. He would eventually fall to Haslam, caught well by Kobbewela at cover. This was the third wicket for Haslam as he would eventually take 5-37, which was vital for Matlock in keeping the home team to an achievable total.
Haslam now leads the bowling averages, taking nine wickets in his three appearances, and could play a vital role if Matlock are to succeed in this division.
Although Rolls Royce had threatened they never really got away from Matlock and ended on 193-9; a challenging total but not completely out of sight.
Drew Mullaney and Johnny Ford are now settling in to their roles as openers and created a good platform after 10 overs despite some questionable singles called by Mullaney.
Soon after the 10 overs had passed though Ford feathered an edge through to the keeper for five while Mullaney stood on 15. Kershaw was the new man in at the crease but only managed to make one before the rain came.
The rain proved to be too heavy to continue play and there were puddles on the square after just 15 minutes of torrential downpour.
The captains decided to shake hands after they managed to spare a few seconds outside the refuge of the warm changing rooms.
A total of 10 points were claimed for Matlock on a day which they would have backed themselves to chase down the runs after their recent form.