ILKESTON Rutland’s batting maestro David Smit hit his second century in three weeks on Saturday but once again it was not enough to help his side end their disappointing run of form.
Visitors Dunstall eased to their target with seven wickets in hand sending them into the top half of the table and leaving Rutland at its foot with seven defeats out of eight.
For much of the afternoon, Rutland could be pleased with their progress. Openers Smit and Alex Park saw off the new ball with an 80-run stand and it was the junior partner who produced the sweet notes while Smit was stuck in the groove taking 42 balls over his first half dozen runs.
Park looked sure to reach his third consecutive 50 but perished top edging the left arm spin of Scott Chilman as he aimed an ambitious fetch from outside off stump over mid-wicket.
This prompted a mini-collapse with Rutland’s teenage trio of Danny Shelton, Tom Brandrick and Luke Marriott all succumbing early.
Smit, meanwhile, was starting to flow. He used his feet to launch Chilman for six over long-off, the first of seven maximums over some of the Premier League’s longer boundaries.
A 59-run partnership with Ian Banks (19) stabilised the innings and the lower-middle order kept Smit company as he moved effortlessly into top gear.
He was finally caught in the 48th over for 122 which represented just over half of Rutland’s tally - 243 for 7.
With a decent target to defend, Rutland needed a good start from their opening bowlers but it was not one of those days.
Openers Tom Mandleburg and James Benstead snacked on Rob Green but feasted on James Lockhart and had 67 on the board after just ten overs.
Their century stand was reached in the 16th over leaving Rutland chasing the game.
Of Rutland’s bowlers only young spinner Danny Bobeszko prospered and exerted control. He had Mandleburg well stumped by Park for 66 and when he removed Chilman for one in his seventh over he had 2 for 14 and Dunstall worried.
Benstead continued to play the anchor role and had he been caught when he flicked Bobeszko to mid-wicket, a tighter finish might have ensued.
In fact he went on to reach an unbeaten 101 and together with John Jennings (44 not out) Dunstall cruised to 22 points.
Rutland’s 2nd XI endured a win-less weekend with a league defeat to Chesterfield on Saturday and an exit from the Bayley Cup, albeit in a thriller, at Aston on Sunday.
Batting first at Queen’s Park, Rutland stumbled to 146 all out with Martin Brandrick (34) and Chris Palfreyman (21) the main contributors.
Chesterfield’s openers killed the game with a 104-run partnership for the first wicket but their party was spoilt by Matt Wakefield who reminded Rutland what they have been missing this year with a five-wicket burst.
A 2nd XI featuring six of Rutland’s U17 side took on an Aston team from the other end of the age spectrum in the second round of the Bayley Cup.
The home side were put in to bat and mustered 229 for 8 from their 45 overs with the best bowling figures coming from Alex Watson (2 for 25 from 8 overs).
Early breakthroughs seemed to have secured the tie for Aston but a 67-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Aidan Smith and George Brandrick (42 from 42 balls) kept Rutland in with a sniff.
Jeff Dunbar (28) carried on the momentum but the game appeared lost when he departed with 53 required from 26 balls.
This challenge almost proved within the range of Joe Bird who powered 37 from 20 balls.
Rutland needed 11 from the last over but Smith (53) was bowled by the second ball and Bird was left needing a six from the last delivery. An exciting game ended in defeat by four runs.
The 3rd XI played out a classic of a different kind against Ockbrook’s 4th XI in Division 8 North on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 206 proved impossible once Joe Bird had gone for 30 and defeat seemed inevitable at 82 for 7 with 18 overs remaining.
Ockbrook, however, were left pounding their fists in frustration by, possibly, the greatest 0 not out in Rutland’s long history.
James Fearnside dealt with everything for over an hour and in partnership with Vic Pilbeam (4 not out) clung on at 118 for 9 for two valuable extra points.
Fearnside, who had faced 60 balls, had still not troubled the scorer but he’d certainly trouble Ockbrook.
Fearnside allowed himself to play some shots on Sunday in the James Harewood Cup at Dunstall.
However, his unbeaten 22 only helped Rutland to 107 and Dunstall cantered home by nine wickets.
After five nail-biting wins, the U17s easily beat Shipley Hall on Monday night but were almost denied by the weather.
Batting first, Rutland ran excellently between the wickets as they racked up 150 for 1 from 20 overs, a total that featured just six boundaries and two sixes.
Every batsman scored at more than a run-a-ball with Aidan Smith (50) and George Brandrick (49 not out) the mainstays.
In ever gloomier weathter, Danny Shelton then took three wickets from his first nine balls as Shipley collapsed to 11 for 5.
They were all out for 63, minutes before the heavens opened.
The U15s also had an easy win this time at the Rec against West Hallam.
The visitors could manage only 46 from their 20 overs and Rutland passed them for the loss of two wickets within half an hour.
The U13s lost narrowly to Sandiacre despite another unbeaten 25 from Abi Hall.