Sizzling Smit keeps Ilkeston Rutland on a roll

David Smit, who carried his bat to steer Ilkeston Rutland to victory.
David Smit, who carried his bat to steer Ilkeston Rutland to victory.

More inspirational batting by opener David Smit enabled Ilkeston Rutland to continue their bright start to the season in Division Two of the Derbyshire County League.

After Rutland had been set a target of 186 by their struggling visitors, Sandiacre Town 2nd, Smit quickly set the tone of the run chase when hitting the first ball he received for four.

He went on to carry his bat for a dominant, unbeaten 92 off 96 balls, which included 13 boundaries in total, as the hosts raced to 188-7 in 34.2 overs for a win that kept them second in the table, just a point behind leaders Langley Mill United.

Partners did come and go at the other end as Sandiacre bowlers Anthony Taylor (4-53 in 13 overs) and Andy Rhodes (2-41) tried their best to wrestle the advantage from Rutland. But two Smit partnerships of 58 for the third wicket with Damien Jones (25, five fours) and 62 for the sixth wicket with Ian Banks (33, six fours) proved key to the hosts’ success.

Earlier Rutland had owed a lot to new-ball bowler James Lockhart, who returned excellent figures of 5-39 from 10.3 overs. He was the main reason why Sandiacre slumped from a promising 84-2, fuelled by 58 (one six and ten fours) from Rhodes, to 185 all out, despite 35 from Matt Kimmitt and 34 from Dan Green. Thomas Lockhart also took 2-44 from 12 overs.