Ilkeston Rutland’s 1st XI lost ground on the Division One pace-setters at the weekend despite a dominant batting performance led by captain David Smit.
The Rutland star made 178 after he lost the toss at bottom-of-the-table Ambergate and was put in to bat.
Runs flowed from the start with Ian Banks (44) peppering the boundary at the Hurt Arms ground as he shared a 103-run stand with Smit for the first wicket.
Having been circumspect at first, Smit freed his arms in partnership with Michael Chambers (35) and latterly with Luke Marriott whose 29 came off just 16 balls.
Smit, however, was totally dominant, accelerating at will and taking only 153 balls for his 178.
Rutland’s innings closed on 334 for 4 from 50 overs.
Perhaps with hindsight they might have declared earlier to give themselves more time to bowl Ambergate out.
In the event, the home side lost five wickets before the drinks interval with Sam Moulds the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 46.
Victory looked in sight but Rob Heath (70 not out) and Artesham Yaqoob (51 not out) proved impossible to remove and the game petered out into a winning draw for Rutland.
Their 18 points keeps them in the top half of the table but meant they lost ground on leaders Marehay and Alfreton who both won.
This weekend sees them entertain league leaders Marehay, a crucial game if Rutland are to challenge for promotion.
Rutland’s 2nd XI remain anchored to the foot of Division Four North after losing heavily against Codnor.
Having put their hosts in to bat, Rutland failed to exert any control with a succession of wides being bowled by all.
The only bowler to exert any control was captain Bryan Smith (3 for 55) and Codnor had reached 216 when they were all out in their final over.
Rutland’s batting showed none of the resistance that secured them losing draws against Clowne and Morton earlier in the season.
They were all out for a paltry 86 with James Melbourne taking 5 for 29.
Rutland’s 3rd XI moved into the promotion places in Nine North without having to bowl a ball.
They took 27 points when opponents Ambergate conceded victory on Friday evening, having been unable to raise a side.