by Malcolm Wilson and Ross Slater
ILKESTON Rutland’s 1st XI finally re-discovered the winning feeling on Sunday when they beat local rivals Sandiacre in the Derbyshire Premier League Cup.
The morale-boosting win revived memories of last year’s run to the final of the competition when they beat the same opponents at the same stage, and it sets up a last-16 clash with Derbyshire Colts at the Rec on June 12.
The omens were not at all good. David Smit, who had contributed over a third of all the team’s runs to this point, nicked the game’s very first ball to slip, giving Sandiacre speedster Ryan McFadyean his seventh wicket of the weekend.
No-one could have blamed the tea ladies if they’d buttered the sandwiches a little faster in anticipation of an early tea.
In the event, there was no need. There was a wobble in the middle order and Rutland were 75 for 5 when opener Alex Park, who had held the innings together with 37, was given LBW.
Experience tells, and a partnership of 54 between Ian Banks and Andy Flindall put Rutland on course for a decent score before Flindall was fuming at being given caught behind for 23.
Banks, who survived a sticky patch against the spin of James Chapman, was flowing and had just reached his half-century when he was stumped.
McFadyean was not yet done. The burly South African has a vast appetite for wickets and claimed 5 for 27 (11 for 59 over the weekend) in cleaning up the tail.
Defending 161, it was time for the 1st XI’s bowling unit to click against a Sandiacre side missing four of its Saturday regulars.
Captain Rob Green kick-started proceedings by removing his opposite number Rob Attwood in the first over.
Then James Lockhart had youngster Curtley Read caught behind and clean bowled the former Pakistani international Naveed Qureshi first ball.
Banks joined the attack and he claimed two more vital wickets to have Sandiacre reeling at 58 for 5.
Danger lurked. McFadyean, who can be a brute with the bat as well as the ball, joined opener Chapman and looked ominous.
He carted 34 from 26 balls swinging the game in Sandiacre’s favour before Green’s return had him LBW. Fittingly, it was the skipper who also removed the other danger man, Chapman for 50.
He ended with figures of 4 for 28 as Sandiacre fell 27 runs short of their target.
Banks, however, with 3 for 27 to go with his 50 runs was the overall match-winner.