NOTTS PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Cuckney win derby as Welbeck collapse like Sri Lanka

SWEET DRIVE -- by Cuckney batsman James Hawley, under the watchful eye of Welbeck wicketkeeper David Hunt, during their keenly contested derby.
SWEET DRIVE -- by Cuckney batsman James Hawley, under the watchful eye of Welbeck wicketkeeper David Hunt, during their keenly contested derby.
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Chirpy Cuckney claimed the bragging rights in the big north Nottinghamshire derby on weekend five of the new Notts Premier League season.

For they enjoyed a thumping home win over neighbours Welbeck, whose batting was as secure as Sri Lanka’s in the first Test match at Headingley. They were swiftly skittled for just 74 in 22.2 overs to set up a victory margin of 126 runs.

Cuckney, who finished a close third in the league last year, were asked to bat first and delivered a total of 200-9, which was built around a 79-run stand for the second wicket between James Hawley (46) and Gareth Purshouse (36).

Will Butler added 33 as the hosts did well to defy some excellent bowling by Muhammad Nadeem Malik, who took 6-36 in an inspired 15-over bowling spell.

When Welbeck replied, their only resistance was provided by David Hunt, who hit 34. The rest crumbled, with eight wickets falling for just ten runs at one stage. Cuckney’s chief destroyers were Lewis Bramley, with 4-25, and Trent Lawford, with 4-30.

The rout lifted Cuckney into fourth place in the table after three outright wins from their opening five matches. But 27 points above them at the top, the early-season pace continues to be set by Plumtree, who bagged a two-wicket win in a tight and exciting match at Caythorpe.

Home skipper James Hemmings opted to bat first and saw his side’s innings fade away to 207-8, despite a good start. Steve Allcoat set the early tempo with a fine 33 before the Mierkalns brothers posted a partnership of 64 for the fourth wicket, with Josh making 53. But from then on, the wickets began to fall and as Sam Wood weighed in with 5-66, Caleb Mierkalns was left not out on 60.

Plumntree’s run chase appeared to be progressing nicely on 75-0 in the hands of Saad Ashraf (43) and James Doherty (39). But despite a further 36 from Oliver Soames, they became nervy, especially at 176-5. Some crazy running between the wickets didn’t help, but they scrambled over the line off the penultimate ball, consigning Caythorpe to a third straight defeat, even though Jim Hindson took 3-41.

The day’s remaining four fixtures were all affected badly by rain, with not a ball bowled in the clash between Mansfield Hosiery Mills and Ordsall Bridon. Defending champions Kimberley and former title-holders West Indian Cavaliers suffered most frustration as the clouds opened just when they were on the brink of probable victories.

Kimberley amassed 298-6, with Tom Rowe making 70 and Jon Terry 67 in a second-wicket stand worth 148. And they had Clifton 193-7 in the 37th over when the weather intervened, with Muhammad Usman taking 4-79 after the visitors had eased to 80 without loss in the hands of Gregor Croudis (68).

It was a similar story for Cavaliers, who totalled 251-6, with Adam Tillcock hitting 72, before reducing Radclife-on-Trent to 167-8 with eight overs to bowl. Mind you, they earlier had the hosts floundering on 47-6 before a century stand for the seventh wicket between Rob Sutton (58) and James Marshall (46).

Former England star Paul Franks fired 70 in Notts CCC Academy’s total of 227 at Hucknall, whose reply was going nicely on 181-5, with Dale Campbell still at the crease on 70, when the rains came 13 overs from the end.

RESULTS (home teams named first) -- Caythorpe 207-8 lost to Plumtree 208-8 by two wickets; Cuckney 200-9 beat Welbeck 74 by 126 runs; Hucknall 181-5 abandoned (rain) against Notts CCC Academy 227; Kimberley 298-6 abandoned (rain) against Clifton 193-7; Radcliffe-on-Trent 167-8 abandoned (rain) against West Indian Cavaliers 251-6 declared.