A brave, late rally by captain Steven ‘Sandy’ Sanderson almost grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat for depleted Nutbrook in Division One of the Derbyshire County League.
Weakened by holidays, Nutbrook were on the rocks, despite dismissing fellow mid-tablers Stainsby Hall for 141. They slid to 13-3, 61-6 and 81-9 in reply, with Sanderson, going in at number eight, their only hope. But the skipper proceeded to treat the crowd to a powerful display of hitting, clubbing six sixes and three fours in a breezy knock of 59 that took his side to the brink of their target in a last-wicket partnership of 57 with last man James Woods.
Just when victory was in sight, however, Sanderson was stumped on 138 off the bowling of Matthew Smyth to give Stainsby a three-run success.
The dismissal also completed a five-wicket haul for Smyth (5-44 in 10.1 overs) after earlier scalps for new-ball duo Mehmoon Tariq (2-31 in 13 overs) and Amir Iqbal (2-42 in seven overs), who had been responsible for Nutbrook’s customary poor start.
Stainsby had also got off to a rocky opening after electing to bat first. Opener Tim Pickup was trapped lbw by Harry Thoman in the third over before former Brook player Sahd Shafiq was caught by Woods off the bowling of Kashif Hussain to leave them 15-2.
Middle-order improvement was provided by man-of-the-match Smyth (28, four fours) and Evan Jones (22, three fours), who lifted the home side to 86-3. But Nutbrook fought back in the hands of change-bowlers Michael Chambers, who took 3-15 in nine overs, and spinner Harry Duckles, who took 2-24 in six overs, and Stainsby suddenly lost five wickets for just 28 runs to send them spinning to 114-8. Ben Bignell (22) offered late defiance before Thoman returned to the attack and polished off the innings for creditable final figures of 3-34 from 12.4 overs.
IN Division Ten North of the league, Nutbrook 3rd enjoyed a fine four-wicket win over tabletopping Washlands, with opener Richard Smith carrying his bat for an unbeaten 70.