NOTTS PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND-UP: rain ruins Hucknall’s exciting run-chase at Cuckney

BEFORE THE RAIN CAME -- Cuckney on their way to a 200-plus total in their Notts Premier League match against Hucknall, which was sabotaged by rain.
BEFORE THE RAIN CAME -- Cuckney on their way to a 200-plus total in their Notts Premier League match against Hucknall, which was sabotaged by rain.
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The prospect of an exciting finish between title-chasing Cuckney and bottom-of-the-table Hucknall was spoiled by the rain as the Notts Premier League season reached its halfway point.

With the weather looking uncertain, Cuckney were confident enough to declare after only 38 of their allotted 50 overs, having scored 210-3.

But newly-promoted Hucknall, buoyed by their second win of the season the previous week, made a brave fist of the run-chase and were nicely poised on 167-5 from only 24 overs when the heavens opened and forced the game to be abandoned.

At least the visitors were able to garner enough points (12) to take them into second place in the table, just three behind leaders Plumtree and four in front of third-placed Kimberley, whose match at Caythorpe was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Cuckney’s enterprising batting was spearheaded by opener James Hawley, who carried his bat for an undefeated 98 that contained two sixes and eight fours. He shared stands of 69 with Luke Thomas (30), 57 with skipper William Butler (27) and 63 with Nick Langford (32) before the declaration was called two runs short of his century.

Hucknall got off to a flier in the hands of openers Josh Downie, who cracked 46 (one six and seven fours) off 37 balls, and Aaron Simpson, who made 26, in a partnership worth 96. They did lose wickets to Conor Tansley (3-37) and man-of-the-match Hawley (2-41), but deadly South African Dale Campbell (36no) was still at the crease when the rains arrived.

The weather also robbed Plumtree of probable victory at Welbeck, who were restricted to 151-9 in their allotted 50 overs thanks to fine bowling by Nick Winter (4-42) and youngster Albert Carter (3-8 in six overs). The visitors were sailing serenely on 90-3 from 18.1 overs, led by 38 from Hassan Azad, before the rain intervened.

It was a similar story at Mansfield Hosiery Mills and Notts CCC Academy, where matches were cut short soon after tea by the weather. Hosiery Mills declared four overs early on 231-7 after useful contributions from Mark Smallwood (43), Tom New (40) and Irosh Samarasooriya (34), but Radcliffe-on-Trent barely had time to begin their reply, edging to 11-0 from 43 deliveries before the inevitable abandonment decision.

Notts Academy were the unluckiest side of the weekend because after keeping West Indian Cavaliers down to 138-9, despite 45 from Karanjit Bansal, in a match reduced to 35 overs, they were 125-4 in reply with 21 balls remaining when play was called to a halt. The hosts had recovered from 62-4 and were going nicely in the hands of Tom Keast (41no) and Paul Franks (33no), who put on 63 for the fifth wicket.

The only match to beat the weather was at Ordsall Bridon, where Clifton Village raced to a five-wicket victory just in time. The struggling hosts eere dismissed for just 122 in 33.2 overs, with Harry White taking 4-39 and Muhammed Usman 3-38. It would have been even worse without a battling 54 from Sufian Munir in a half-century stand with Aqab Ahmed, who then took 4-55 with the ball before Clifton got home under the supervision of captain Martin Weightman (25), Richard Harris (23no) and Peter Vladev.

RESULTS (home teams named first) Caythorpe v Kimberley cancelled (rain); Mansfield Hosiery Mills 231-7 declared abandoned (rain) v Radcliffe 11-0; Notts CCC Academy 125-4 abandoned (rain) v West Indian Cavaliers 138-9; Ordsall Bridon 122 lost to Clifton 123-5 by five wickets; Welbeck 151-9 abandoned (rain) v Plumtree 90-3.