It is the glorious unpredictability of cricket that makes it such a compelling sport to follow and on Saturday it was Ilkeston Rutland 1st XI’s turn to make a fool of the form book.
They did so with the match-winning performance astonishingly coming from a 62-year-old veteran who only returned from a five-year absence to help the club out of a muddle..
Stainsby Hall began the day in the thick of the promotion chase, won the toss and did the sensible thing - they asked Rutland to bat.
Rutland’s record batting first is a miserable one - the last time they won from such a position was July 4, 2009, and with their most successful bowler of the season Sam Moulds injured, they looked destined to disappoint again.
They were, however, given a solid start. David Smit (29) and Michael Chambers (30) took the score to 71 before the all too familiar clutch of fallen wickets.
From 77 for 3, Luke Marriott (16) and Damien Jones (29) again threatened to make the scoreboard decent before another collapse with six wickets falling for 29 runs.
At 154 for 9, Rutland looked like they would again find themselves defending a well under par total, but Danny Bobeszko and Alan Green dug in.
Green, now in his 63rd year, had a previous highest score for the club of five. But he more than doubled this with 11 precious runs, even unveiling a lofted, straight drive, which he had kept under wraps all these years.
Stainsby are heavy on batting power and would have been confident of chasing down 175.
They had not counted on Green Senior. Opening up with his son Robert at the other end, he bowled as though the ball were on a piece of string and proved impossible to get away.
By the time he had delivered his 15 overs straight through, taking 2 for 19 in the process, Stainsby were in real trouble.
He had removed their best player David Smyth to make it 74 for 3 and put doubt into the minds of the hosts.
The wickets kept falling. Chambers dismissed both openers and Bobeszko chipped in with a couple of wickets to make Stainsby 123 for 7.
Teetering on the edge, Rob Green returned to the attack to wrap things up but not before James Fearnside had again showed his worth with a run out.
Truly, you could not make this up but Rutland had 27 points which lifts them 31 points above the relegation zone.
l An understrength 2nd XI were facing an equally difficult task against promotion-chasing Breadsall on the Rec.
And just as London buses come along in twos just when you’ve given up hope, so do victories for Rutland.
Asked to bat, Breadsall soon found themselves in trouble with Chris Trueman Junior and Ian Banks both striking early with the new ball.
Wickets continued to fall with Aidan Smith, returning to the side after his stint as an Olympic official, picking up two along with George Brandrick.
Only James Drew (46) got going and he was bowled by Banks who ended with 3 for 31 as Breadsall were all out for 151.
Rutland needed a gritty knock to get them home and it was provided by opener Martin Brandrick who made an unbeaten 82, keeping his head as wickets fell around him.
He shared significant partnerships with his son George (22) and Richard Kelleher (22) and Rutland won by three wickets with five balls to spare.
l Rutland’s 3rd XI were comprehensively beaten at West Hallam.
The home side managed 175 despite Joe Bird taking 5 for 50. Rutland then folded to 60 all out.