Rutland tie after a remarkable finish

Ilkeston Rutland captain David Smit is pictured dealing with a delivery on his way to 134 against Rolleston on Saturday.
Ilkeston Rutland captain David Smit is pictured dealing with a delivery on his way to 134 against Rolleston on Saturday.

It all seemed to be petering out into one of those rain-affected drawn games when out of nowhere came the most astounding of finishes.

With five overs left, Rolleston required 62 to overhaul Rutland’s score of 250 and, as the sun began to set on a blustery April evening, their number five quietly patted back a maiden to the vastly experienced spinner John Trueman.

Looking for an extra bowling point, Rutland captain David Smit brought his strike bowler Sam Moulds back into the attack but his over featured two no-balls and cost 17 runs.

Still, 45 runs were required from three overs and that became 35 from two after Trueman was hit for a six by Alex Britton.

Moulds, who had earlier bowled a decent spell in his first outing since back trouble cut short his 2012 season, then went for 20 off his final over - clubbed for sixes by both batsmen.

Suddenly destiny seemed to favour Rolleston. They needed 15 from the last over. Trueman’s first ball was cracked hard to cover but went straight through the fielder for four.

It eventually came to the last ball with four required for victory. With the pressure now at fever pitch, Trueman delivered the perfect dart, yorking the advancing batsman.

But somehow the ball managed to miss the leg stump and go through the legs of the wicket keeper for byes. On the balcony, the Rolleston players urged the ball towards the unprotected boundary rope but the earlier rain slowed its momentum and it stopped just short.

As Moulds sprinted round from square leg to collect the ball, the batsmen ran three bringing the scores level.

It was a cruel end to the game for captain Smit. Earlier in the day and in between showers, he had put on a master class with the bat scoring an unbeaten 134 as Rutland reached 250 for 2 against an ordinary looking attack.

He and Trueman (45) put on 113 for the first wicket before Luke Marriott (41 from 21 balls) helped him add a further 75 from seven overs and set up a declaration.

Smit then mixed attack and defence in the field only ultimately to be let down by inept fielding.

This is best illustrated by the innings of Tom Rutter, Rolleston’s hard hitting number four, who fell into a trap set by Smit when he top edged a pull from Rob Green only for Ross Slater to spill a simple chance at deep square leg.

Rutter, then on 19, went on to make 64 without which Rolleston would undoubtedly have found themselves under greater pressure.

After their bowling attack was exposed in last weekend’s opening fixture, it was the batting that went wrong in week two for Rutland’s 2nd XI.

After winning the toss, they limited Darley Dale to 165 for 7 from their 46 overs with Ken Seaman bowling his 14 overs for just 25 runs and captain Bryan Smith picking up 5 for 35 with his off spin.

Chasing a winnable target as opposed to clinging on for a draw presented a different challenge to the batsmen who failed to deliver against a naggingly accurate set of bowlers.

They were finally all out for 101 in the 42nd over with Dougie Briggs taking 4 for 31.

Rutland’s 3rd XI avoided defeat at Codnor thanks to a succession of showers and the stoicism of James Fearnside.

The home side made 203 for 5 from their 46 overs with Aaron Wood hitting 107 and Grant Robertson conceding just 29 runs from his 14 overs.

Defeat loomed large for ten-man Rutland at 57 for 8 but Fearnside and vice-captain Paul Banks clung on for the final 45 minutes to save the game in the 33 overs possible.