Weather is kind to Rutland this time

Ilkeston Rutland batsman Matthew Wakefield strikes out during the draw with Duffield on Saturday.
Ilkeston Rutland batsman Matthew Wakefield strikes out during the draw with Duffield on Saturday.
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Ilkeston Rutland’s 1st XI had their last win against Duffield in May but in the reverse fixture on Saturday they had the weather to thank for avoiding defeat.

Having set their hosts just 117 to win, the rain came down with Duffield on 34 for 2, allowing Rutland to gain seven points from a match which looked like producing only one or two.

Batting first, Rutland were soon losing wickets at regular intervals and of the top five, only Matt Wakefield played a substantial innings.

Just as he had the week before against Marehay, Wakefield carefully picked his way to 30 from 66 balls but when he departed the score was 86 for 8 with another 20 overs still to be bowled.

The partnership which followed between captain Rob Green (26) and James Fearnside bought Rutland invaluable time.

Fearnside, who is more used to playing his cricket in Division 9 North, defended 40 deliveries and his stay at the crease allowed time for the rain clouds to move in.

He was still undefeated on zero when the final wicket fell in the 48th over.

Both Green and David Smit, opening the bowling due to a club injury crisis, caused enough problems to suggest Duffield would not have had things all their own way but only wild optimists would have predicted a 27 point win had the weather stayed fair.

Rutland remain looking over the shoulder, 15 points ahead of the relegation zone, and in need of a win to lift them up the table which is still so congested that three wins could see talk of promotion replacing talk of relegation

l Rutland’s 2nd XI made it two maximum-point wins in the space of three weeks as they moved up to eighth in Division 4 North, beating Pilsley by 117 runs.

With several senior players missing this was a hugely pleasing result and featured 16-year-old Vic Pilbeam playing his second match-winning innings in successive weeks.

Having been put in to bat, Rutland lost their stand-in skipper David Robinson for a duck but Richard Kelleher (22) and Darren Cundy (21) settled things down adding 50 for the second wicket.

Both departed in the space of three balls putting pressure on an inexperienced middle order. When Chris Palfreyman (26) became the fourth wicket to fall, Rutland might have folded but Pilbeam showed tremendous grit to keep Pilsley at bay.

He batted for 105 balls in making an unbeaten 46, adding 56 for the seventh wicket in partnership with Chris Trueman Snr (23) and helping Rutland to 181 for 7.

When it comes to batting Pilsley are something of a one-man band. Saeed bin Nasir beat Rutland almost single handed in May with 145 not out but on Saturday he made just 12.

A Palfreyman bouncer saw him top edge his hook and Chris Trueman Jnr held a steepler at long leg.

Pilsley folded quickly after that with Palfreyman taking 4 for 26 and Trueman Jnr, recovering from a chest operation earlier in the season, finding his range with 4 for 37.

l Rutland’s 3rd XI folded easily at Awsworth. There were seven ducks in their innings and they only managed to reach 89 thanks to 37 from Grant Robertson and 18 from Ainsley Hallam.

Liam Miller took his second five wicket haul of the season against Rutland and Blayne Riley helped himself to five wickets for only two runs.

Awsworth, missing their main run-getter Matt Anderson, made heavy weather of their chase losing five wickets but 40 from Daniel Balmforth eased them home to maintain their promotion challenge.