Shocked Cuckney start new cricket season with batting collapse

Tom Keast top scored for Cuckney, but once he had departed, they collapsed.
Tom Keast top scored for Cuckney, but once he had departed, they collapsed.

Shellshocked Cuckney made a dreadful start to the new cricket season, crashing to an unexpected 77-run defeat in the Notts Premier League.

Usually there or thereabouts in the title race, and runners-up in 2018, Cuckney were odds-on favourites to comfortably dispose of Attenborough, who only just avoided relegation last summer.

But they paid the price for a shoddy batting collapse, sliding to 131 all out after restricting the visitors to 208-6 in their allotted 44 overs.

Opener Tom Keast did his best to rally his charges, hitting two sixes and five fours in a rapid 39, and at 77-1, all seemed to be going swimmingly.

But once Keast had been bowled by Ian Stone, the rot set in and Cuckney plunged to 83-6 and 112-8 before late resistance from tailender Alex Willerton (23no).

Stone went on to take 5-37 from ten inspired overs, with Ben Kitt also taking 2-33 from 8.4 overs and Dominic Harvey 2-33 from eight overs for the Squirrels.

Earlier, with rain in the air, Attenborough had been asked to bat first, but recovered from the early loss of opener Gurpej Landa to move to 83-1 in the hands of Savin Perrera and Paldip Sidhu, who put on 69.

Sidhu fell for 42 (one six and four fours), but anchorman Perrera stayed until the end, making a watchful 57no (four fours) from 97 deliveries. He was further supported by Tom Murray (46, one six and seven fours) in a fifth-wicket partnership worth 60.

Cuckney deployed six bowlers, with the pick being Willerton (2-26 in nine overs), Dan Brown (2-38 in seven overs) and Nick Keast (1-34 in ten overs).