Run-shy Chesterfield failed to make progress in the ECB National Club Championship Cup when they suffered an early exit at the hands of Elsecar on Sunday.
After their Derbyshire County League, Premier Division match at home to Ockbrook and Borrowash had been cancelled without a ball being bowled the previous day because of rain, Chesterfield were keen to make an impact in the prestigious national competition.
But they were always in trouble with the bat, sliding to 98-7 before recovering to 172 all out, and then they could do little as their Yorkshire hosts eased to 176-3 in reply.
Of the top-order batsmen, only Harry Wilmott, with 37, was able to cope with some excellent Elsecar bowling, spearheaded by their impressive spin twins, Muhammad Saeed Anwar (3-35 in 7.5 overs) and Saqib Hussain (3-38 in eight overs).
Indeed it took a fine stand of 51 between David Hunt and new signing Paul Holmes to provide Chesterfield with any optimism at all.
Wicketkeeper Hunt played a typically belligerent innings, unleashing both orthodox and unorthodox shots. It was unfortunate that he was unable to reach a half-century before Hussain bowled him, but his 47 was a vital innings for the side.
For the second week running, Holmes added valuable runs, making 16 before the innings closed in the 40th over.
At tea, Chesterfield were still hoping their total was par for the ground, but the tie was quickly taken away from them by a convincing partnership from Elszecar’s opening batsmen, Anwar and captain Paul Cummins.
Man-of-the-match Anwar fired 72 and Cummins, who had earlier taken 2-38 from eight overs with the ball, added 34. After the duo had gone, Joe Denby (25) and Tanzeel Ali (28) finished the job as early as the 35th over.