Chesterfield’s remarkable revival continued when they made it three wins on the bounce after reaching a big victory target with four balls to spare, against title contenders Swarkestone at Queen’s Park on Saturday.
After putting the visitors into bat, Chesterfield struggled to contain openers Chris Durham (92) and Jake Needham (40) who put on 122 at a run a ball and a healthy total was ensured with a brisk 61 from Garry Park.
Matt Higginbottom’s 4-86 helped to stem the flow of runs but Swarkestone closed on 286-7 which was a formidable total for a side with the league’s two leading wicket takers in former Australian test left-armer Michael Beer and the South African seamer Park.
Ben Slater and Mykylo Bird went a long way to making the game safe for Chesterfield with a well-paced opening partnership of 132 before Bird was adjudged leg before for 62.
Slater (70) was one a three quick wickets to fall as Chesterfield slipped to 165-4 and the required rate rose to almost ten an over but a blistering 71 off 36 balls from Nitish Kamur and a rapid 38 off 30 balls from Alex Hibbert saw the fifth wicket pair adding 93 in nine overs to keep the chase on course.
Another flurry of wickets and runs left Chesterfield needing a more modest 21 off the final three overs and boundaries from Mat Roberts and Brian Gladwin took them well on the way before the target was reached courtesy of a scrambled single with four balls to spare.
Chesterfield move up to seventh and could further improve their position with good results over the weekend when they visit strugglers Alvaston & Boulton on Saturday before returning to Queen’s Park on Sunday to play their game in hand against Ticknall.
Chesterfield 22 points, Swarkestone eight points
Chesterfield II experienced fluctuating fortunes over the weekend starting with a losing draw against table topping Clowne Town on Saturday and concluding with a win against Chesterfield Barbarians on Sunday.
Clowne Town posted 246-4 with major contributions from Adam White (89), Glyn Long (60 not out) and Josh Womble (43) which proved too much for Chesterfield who secured the draw by closing on 205-7 with runs for Callum Hiron (63), Aaron Jepson (38) and James Colton (33) as Long took 3-40 to complete a good all-round day.
Sunday saw Chesterfield romp to a nine wicket win when they reached 237 in the 30th over with centuries for Callum Hiron (113) and James Colton (105 not out) after Chesterfield Barbarians had posted a total of 235 in 46 overs with runs for Sam Lawson (114), Jack Fletcher (44) and Alex Fowkes (36).
Chesterfield III held Richmond to 208-5 as Andrew Billington took 3-49 at Graves Park on Saturday and then secured a fourth successive win at 211-6 with four overs to spare as Ben Jenkins (50) and Patrick Phillips (42) led the way with good support from Liam Baddeley (46).