Sawley & LE Park 119 all out, Matlock 123-1
County League Division One leaders Matlock travelled to strugglers Sawley & Long Eaton Park in confident mood and returned with a nine-wicket victory.
Captain Pell won the toss and elected to bowl.
John Aspinall and Ed Lander took the new ball and bowled economically early in the game.
After ten overs the hosts had reached 35-0 despite giving a number of chances to the visitors.
The breakthrough came with Lander dismissing opening batsman Birley before the second wicket partnership threatened to add further runs until Lander forced an indeterminate stroke from overseas player Kietzmann, who edged through to Cluer who made no mistake at slip. Lander added his third wicket (Fawcett) and finished a fantastic spell of bowling with figures 3-22.
The dynamic Chris Fletcher as the hosts slipped from 51-2 to 69-6.
Fletcher continued to take wickets and eventually wrapped up the innings for 119 by removing the last tail ender in the 46th over. A superb spell of swing bowling from Fletcher who returned with figures of 5-31.
Captain Pell sent out South African Devon Conway and Matt Cluer to open the innings with Pell having no intention of using the 54 overs available to chase down the target of 119.
The batsmen who dominated the early exchanges with both players looking in excellent form. Conway was given out caught behind the wicket for a well made 20 which led to veteran Leatherday joining Cluer at the crease.
The pair soon eradicated any hopes of a home win with a combination of resolute defence and a number of crisp attacking strokes.
A 22.2 overs, the target of 119 was reached with nine wickets to spare. Leatherday finishing on 29 and Cluer unbeaten on 56.
An excellent win for Matlock who remain top of Division One with four matches remaining.
Matlock 226-7, Sandiacre Town 123 all out
Matlock continued their winning streak crushing Sandiacre by 103 runs with 17 overs remaining and gaining maximum points.
Andy Roberts (12)and Matt Haywood (17) got off to a tenuous start before Matlock took complete control when Tom Coey fresh from a cavalier 84 last week was joined by Drew Mullaney to form a 103-run partnership.
The momentum even increased after Coey (28) was bowled by Josh Standring,
Mullaney fell just ten runs short of a first century after sharing a 75 partnership with Rob Lowe (46).
Matlock finished their 46 overs with a commanding total of 226-7.
Skipper Paul Chadbourne’s tactic of pairing a leg spin and googly bowler, Drew Mullaney, with a medium paced line and length bowler, Ed Blackburn, paid off big time. .
Mullaney had Attwood lbw without scoring, a similar fate befalling Chambers and with Blackburn having accounted for opener Griffin (16) and then to add Davis stumped by Matt Haywood three runs later. Sandiacre were in trouble at
A fifth wicket partnership of 54 but the brake on for a while until Rob Lowe bowled Dean (18) and 10 runs later the return of pace counted for top scorer Burke (57) bowled by Dave Lander.
Dave Lander (3-32). Blackburn (3-13). Mullaney (2-24) and Lowe (2-23) were the other wicket takers in a Sandiacre total of 114.
Matlock 146-5, Nutbrook 91 all out
Captain Guy Roberts won the toss and seized the initiative by choosing to bat.
Tim Jeffery (65*) took up the challenge batting through the 46 overs, ably supported by Andrew Neil (36) and vice captain Steve Webster (26) to finish with a total of 146-5.
That the rate of three runs/over was not exhilarating was credit due to the tight bowling by the Nutbrook bowlers in particular David Tatham who took three of the the five wickets to fall for a meagre 19 runs in his 11 overs.
Other wicket takers were Robert Gilbert (1-41) and Matt Smith (1-25).
Ian Watson (2-15) gave Matlock an ideal start removing both Nutbrook openers.
The middle order batsman provided stiffer resistance but Andrew Neil (1-39) was warming to his task and bowled Callum Rowland (11).
The division’s top wicket taker Tim Braund was brought into the attack, looking dangerous from the first ball and was unlucky to have a catch dropped off his second ball, a pattern that was to continue as the batsmen were mesmerised by his slow, temptingly flighted deliveries which disguised various types of spin and pace.
His skill was rewarded when he bowled top scorer Richard Toplis (24).
A short period of aggression by Nutbrook captain Gary Woods (23) and Matt Smith (17) looked threatening until both were dismissed by young Rehan Shah. Tim Braund (4-28) cleaned up the tail for an all out total of 91 in 29 overs, so justifying his captain’s gamble. Matlock savoured the 27 points and a second successive win.