High-flyers are too good for Rutland

Rob Green bowled well for Ilkeston Rutland with a flurry of wickets but hosts Cutthorpe ran out winners.
Rob Green bowled well for Ilkeston Rutland with a flurry of wickets but hosts Cutthorpe ran out winners.

On the website Wikipedia, Cutthorpe is described as a, ‘small, sleepy village four miles north-west of Chesterfield’.

Well, there’s nothing small or sleepy about their cricket team who have big plans, noisy players and look all set to join the Premier League in 2016.

That was the verdict of Ilkeston Rutland’s first XI who suffered their first league setback since the opening weekend of the season and slip from second to fourth in the table.

They were undone on a hard, bouncy wicket by a quality attack led by South African pace man Josh Savage and ably supported by seam-up specialist Asadullah Butt.

Opting to bowl first, the home side made instant inroads. In his first over, Savage produced a rising delivery which took the edge of Kevin Leatherday’s bat and in his next he clattered through George Moulds’ stumps.

Luke Marriott played around a straight ball to be given LBW and, at 16-3, Rutland were relying heavily on their captain David Smit.

He had added 43 in partnership with Rob Green when he was struck on the pad as he shouldered arms to Savage and given LBW. He trudged off, struggling to hide his disappointment at the decision.

With the main threat gone, Cutthorpe rested Savage but they maintained the pressure through the relentless Butt and third seamer Steve Chapman.

Green, now joined by Ian Banks, played well, counter-attacking occasionally and nudging the score towards three figues.

He had made 37 when Butt finally beat him with a beauty that took the top of off stump as the batsman looked to drive.

Danny Shelton’s timing was immediately on song and he hit four boundaries before missing one from Chapman to be LBW for 17.

Butt removed Andy Flindall almost instantly and then Savage returned to the attack to clean up Banks for 22 with his first delivery back.

Rutland’s tail gave a half-hearted wag but their total of 149 looked at least 50 runs short with Savage’s 7-60 the stand-out performance.

The pitch was by far the firmest of the summer with true bounce and carry but for Rutland only Green proved capable of exploiting the conditions.

His aggressive 15-over spell rattled Cutthorpe. He removed all their top five, reducing them to a nervy 100-5 at one stage but he lacked support at the other end.

One of his victims, opener Matt Cluer crashed 51 from 44 balls and Butt the batsman finally saw his side to a four wicket win with an unbeaten 34.

Rutland now face a critical weekend for their promotion prospects with two home fixtures – Saturday’s against struggling Alfreton and on Sunday against spin-heavy, mid-table Alrewas.

Rutland’s second XI are a conundrum. Two of their three positive results have been against the sides now running away with Divison Six South while they crumble in the face of lesser opponents.

Saturday’s game was typical. Put in to bat, their openers saw off the new ball while scoring slowly but perished as they tried to accelerate.

Of the remainder, only David Robinson (29) lasted more than ten balls with most succumbing to complacent aerial shots.

Chief beneficiary was ultra-slow spinner Sam Shelton (5 for 33) as Rutland slumped to 135 all out.

It was never enough and despite Chris Trueman Snr taking a second successive five wicket haul and keeper Vic Pilbeam impressing with a sublime catch and a stumping, Trentside won by three wickets.

Rutland’s third XI made it an all-round downer for the club, losing by five wickets to Selston.

Their 164 for 8 was steady rather than spectacular with Grant Robertson top scoring with 59.

It proved to be too few and in spite of spinner Bryan Smith’s 4-36, Selston cruised home to leave Rutland struggling in the Division Nine North relegation places.