NOTTS PREMIER PREVIEW: Toss crucial as rain affects early games

Welbeck all-rounder Richard Stroh sending down a delivery in the losing draw against Attenborough.
Welbeck all-rounder Richard Stroh sending down a delivery in the losing draw against Attenborough.

Week five of the Notts Premier League comes on the back of a very wet few days which may make winning the toss crucial come Saturday.

One such match could be at The Strand where Attenborough welcome Radcliffe-on-Trent.

Attenborough have had plenty of experience with water in their time, but are staying comfortably afloat thus far; their winning-draw at Welbeck means they sit eighth with 45 points after four matches.

Ben Bhabra can reach 500 NPL runs with a score of 66 or more.

Radcliffe have been consistent in their results so far (won, lost, won, lost), if not in their performances, as they were brushed aside by Cuckney last time out.

There are just two points behind Attenborough in ninth.

Runs from pro Josh Mierkalns would be welcome and Dave Lucas still needs one wicket to make it to 250 league wickets.

Radcliffe were the winners by 73 runs in this fixture in 2015.

At the New Gatehouse Ground, Hucknall welcome leaders Cuckney.

Hucknall sit sixth with 49 points after their surprise win over Plumtree, but will have to adapt to life without Jake Libby’s 230 runs as he returns to the Notts fold.

South African Geoff Dods stepped up with the ball last week and will now need to do the same with the bat while skipper Robin Maxwell has edged closer to 1,000 league runs, now needing just 15.

A win for Cuckney would see them extend their 100 per cent start and equal their record of five straight NPL wins set in 2013.

James Hawley dominated the run chase against Radcliffe and just nine runs this time out would see him to 5,000.

Nick Langford didn’t get the chance to pass the same landmark last week, so he still needs 46 to do the same.

The weather hampered this fixture last season, resulting in abandonment.

A short distance away, Kimberley Institute welcome Farnsfield to Newdigate Street.

Kimberley’s one-run victory in their last ball thriller with Notts Academy (the 619 runs scored is the 5th highest aggregate score in the NPL) sees them fourth with 59 points.

Taking nothing for granted, they will be hoping for a slightly less stressful afternoon this time out as they look to make it three wins in a row.

A creditable draw against West Indian Cavaliers sees Farnsfield in 10th with 30 points.

They too may be depleted through Notts being back in Championship action and will be hoping to avoid the eight-wicket win Kimberley cruised to in 2015.

Like Kimberley, the youngsters of the Notts Academy will be hoping for a little less stress, and a better result, this time out when Welbeck visit Lady Bay.

The Academy side find themselves in seventh with 46 points.

Captain Tom Keast has been in the runs so far this season and a score of 55 or more from him will mean 500 runs at home in the NPL.

Welbeck sit in 11th place with 23 points and still have yet to record a positive result.

To do that they need runs and perhaps Richard Stroh, who averages just under 50 against his opponents, will score the 55 runs that would see him to 500 against the Academy side.

Rain meant this game never started last year.

Over at Bradmoor Lane, second placed Mansfield Hosiery Mills visit third placed Plumtree.

The Plums will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Hucknall.

Saad Ashraf was one of only two batsmen to reach double figures last week and 26 more this time out will mean 500 league runs at the PCG. Matt Milnes got to within one wicket of 150 in the NPL and Bobby Gamble needs three for 50 wickets at home.

The Millers are ahead of their hosts by six points (66 to 60) and have had a very good start with three wins and a draw so far.

While George Hadfield has been in the runs, the likes of skipper Tom New have yet to fire – surprisingly he’s yet to pass 20 this season.

The away side won a low-scoring game by 29 runs last season.

The final game of the day is at Birchover Park where West Indian Cavaliers host bottom side Caythorpe.

The Cavaliers sit in fifth place with 49 points and will be looking for their second win of the season here.

Long-time servant Dominic Williamson can make it 2,500 runs on home soil with 14 runs and Akhil Patel has another chance to pass 4,500 league runs and 1,500 at home if he makes it to 21 and then 37.

Caythorpe have a 100 per cent record, but of the wrong kind as their defeat to the Millers last time out means they have lost all four games so far. They really need their batting to hold together and a score from Martyn Dobson would help in that regard; he averages 44 at Birchover Park and needs just six runs for 500 against the Cavaliers.

This was another game to fall victim to the rain last year.