Four wickets in one over for Chesterfield spinner Critchley
A sparkling seven-wicket spell by leg-spinner Matt Critchley, which included four scalps in one over, was the highlight as Chesterfield tried to step up their title challenge.
But despite posting a total of 246-9, they were denied outright victory in a tense local derby at Queen’s Park as bottom-of-the-table Cutthorpe clung on for a losing draw with 188-9 in reply.
Critchley’s remarkable four-wicket over reduced Cutthorpe to 134-8 and looked sure to spark the hosts’ fourth win on the bounce. But having witnessed the carnage as the non-striker, Matt Cluer somehow succeeded in farming most of the bowling in the remaining ten overs and ended up guiding his side to safety with an unbeaten 40 (eight fours).
Cluer lost tailender Charles Barrow on 175 but he and last man Andrew Knowles survived the last 13 deliveries, and although the Derbyshire bowler finished with figures of 7-62 from 13 overs, Chesterfield had to be content with a winning draw and a tally of 19 points, which meant they were knocked off top spot by Sandiacre Town, who took 27 points from a win.
Earlier the hosts had been put into bat on a good-looking pitch and began with an opening stand of 51 between Mykolo Bird (21, three fours) and Minesh Keshwala (14), although they benefited from a surplus of extras.
The scoring rate dropped when Keshwala mistimed a shot and Bird edged behind before Ross Whiteley (42, six fours) progressed with more caution than usual to try and take his side to a competitive total.
Whiteley’s efforts were compromised by a burst four wickets in successive overs from Knowles (4-85 in 11 overs) as Chesterfield sank from 134-4 to 163-8 with only ten overs remaining. But the course of the innings was changed dramatically by number ten bat Paul Goodwin, who fired an inspired 47no from 38 balls, which included two sixes and seven fours.
Goodwin’s surge enabled his side to add 83 in those closing overs, aided by another liberal dose of extras, which totalled 49 by the end, including 26 wides and 13 no-balls. Of the other Cutthorpe bowlers, the most effective were Sufian Munir, with 2-42 from 12 overs, and Mobashar Ilyas Raja, with 1-37 from 1 overs.
The visitors’ replied started well with a first-wicket stand of 58 between Paul Burdett (47, four fours) and skipper Kevin Leatherday (21, four fours). And further contributions from Munir (22, five fours) and Ben Green (21, three fours) moved the total to 117-2.
But the introduction of Critchley tilted things decisvely in Chesterfield’s favour, particularly after he dislodged the dogged Burdett, who had dug in for almost two hours, amid a flurry of six wickets for 17 runs.
IN Division Four North of the league, Chesterfield 2nd chalked up a fine five-wicket win at Quarndon 2nd, whose brave recovery from 39-6 came to nought.
Knocks of 73 from Louis Johnson and 65no from Ryan Greatorex enabled Quarndon to post 206-9 and upset the bowling efforts of Adam Woodhouse (4-82) and Michael Deane (3-22 off ten overs). But Chesterfield, undeterred by the loss of two early wickets, paced their reply well to get home with 20 balls to spare on 208-5.
Fifteen-year-old opener Luke Westwell played an accomplished innings of 58, which was followed by rapid runs from Simon Westwell (40), Matt Griffiths (39) and Woodhouse (38no).